Immediate operational advantage

Kaliber Group – which owns KAT, Ayrshire Aluminium and Spitfire Doors – recently acquired Universal Arches. Group chairman, David Richards, tells Glass Times about the opportunities now possible across Kaliber Group businesses.

There is an established relationship between Kaliber and Universal Arches, with synergies between KAT and UA especially. Both manufacturers have become major players in the industry, with KAT’s strong PVCU portfolio of premium Box Sash windows, casement windows and doors contributing a high volume of its sales, and Universal Arches stealing a march in its niche sector, providing unrivalled bespoke products.

As a highly respected business, operating for over 20 years, Universal Arches is award-winning with excellent product quality, recognised as probably the only PVCU profile bender capable of completing very complex projects, and has held ISO9001:2015 for a number of years. The Kaliber growth plan is to acquire like-minded businesses and Universal Arches has demonstrated ongoing investment into its people, product, operations and services.

The St Helens-based manufacturer is the industry’s only PVCU profile bending firm to pioneer 3D computer modelling for production templates, which achieves manufacturing tolerances of just 2mm. Equally, its service promise of a five to seven-day order to delivery has positioned Universal Arches at the forefront of the industry as the most reliable and high quality manufacturer.

The synergies between Kaliber’s brands and Universal Arches are obvious, and across the businesses we will seize the opportunity to use this acquisition to grow each company individually by sharing strengths and skills. With Leon Day, Universal’s former owner and managing director, joining Kaliber, we will use his knowledge and relationships across all businesses. In turn, the Kaliber nationwide distribution network will allow Universal to access customers in the south east of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for the first time. 

Operationally, each of our businesses will continue to run from their traditional bases in Scotland (for Ayrshire), Cheshire and Sussex for KAT, Merseyside for Universal and Cheshire for Spitfire Doors, which ultimately gives us local coverage across the UK.

Synergies, efficiency and best practice will be key benefits by bringing the businesses together under one metaphorical roof. In terms of what the future holds, we are excited about the immediate operational advantage this latest acquisition affords, and we will continue to stamp our mark on the industry as a leader in PVCU and aluminium. But we also recognise the new product innovations opportunities at our fingertips to transfer profile bending skills and production techniques to aluminium too. 

With our exclusive group partnership with Kawneer, we are already working with the best quality materials that will be adapted to meet home improvement market trends. We look forward to sharing our progress and our competitive advantage with group trade partners to bring them aspirational products backed by industry leading quality and service.

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