One of Birmingham’s biggest jewellery manufacturers has bought a south east wholesaler to create one of the largest jewellery businesses in the UK.
WB The Creative Jewellery Group, which has premises in The Jewellery Quarter and London’s Hatton Garden, has acquired Gecko Jewellery, a silver, gold and costume jewellery supplier in Essex and London.
The buy out sees the group grow to around 175 staff and a combined turnover in excess of £32 million.
WB was advised by the Midlands law firm SGH Martineau and the Birmingham office of accountancy and business advisory firm BDO, with finance provided by Barclays.
Joint chairman of the company Patrick Fuller said: "It is encouraging, in these troubled times, that a Birmingham manufacturing business is expanding its remit and moving forward.
"We feel that our customers and indeed their customers are beginning, once again, to value British suppliers and home-grown talent.
"We are extremely positive about the future and look forward following this acquisition to growing the business further in the years to come."
There are three companies within the WB Group; Domino, which sells mainly British-made fine jewellery, Weston Beamor which offers precious metal casting and rapid prototyping services and AdValorem, a distributor of European jewellery brands including the luxury Vendorafa collection.
Gecko Jewellery is particularly well-known for its Elements and Fiorelli collections for women, its Fred Bennett range for men and its D for Diamond jewellery for children.
Mr Fuller added: "We see the addition of Gecko to the WB Group as being a significant step towards being able to offer jewellery retailers throughout Europe a complete solution to their jewellery needs.
"Gecko, like the WB Group, has built its business by providing great design, innovation and service and we believe there is real synergy between our companies.
"Bringing them together will undoubtedly provide tremendous new opportunities for both businesses and for their customers."
The founders of Gecko will remain with the business during the hand-over period.
WB will continue to trade as a separate entity with its current management and staff.
Andrew Morton, managing director of all the companies within the WB Group, will also become managing director of Gecko Jewellery.