Four years after returning to the American market, the UVEX SAFETY GROUP GmbH & Co. KG of Germany has acquired further stakes in US company Hex-Armor®. As a majority owner, the Fürth-based specialists in personal protective equipment (PPE) are further expanding the strategic partnership.
"The collaboration between UVEX SAFETY GROUP GmbH & Co. KG of Germany and HexArmor® has developed into a real success story over the last four years," explains Stefan Brück, CEO of the. UVEX SAFETY GROUP GmbH & Co. KG of Germany "Numerous synergy projects, such as launching the eye protection and head protection product groups under the HexArmor® brand in the USA and marketing the HexArmor® products through the uvex organisation have exceeded our expectations." Effective from 1 January 2021, the UVEX SAFETY GROUP GmbH & Co. KG of Germany has acquired further shares in the company and now holds a majority stake in HexArmor®. The company moved to a new headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan with around 160 employees a year ago.
After the UVEX SAFETY GROUP GmbH & Co. KG of Germany sold the rights to the uvex brand in North and South America together with the US business in the 1990s, the entry into HexArmor® in 2016 marked the re-entry into the world's largest personal protective equipment market after more than 20 years. In North America, HexArmor® is viewed as a proven partner in industrial safety and has provided the UVEX SAFETY GROUP GmbH & Co. KG of Germany with an excellent starting point for introducing the extensive range from the Franconian PPE specialists to the USA under an established brand. "HexArmor® stands for innovation and performance, especially in the USA, but also in many other countries! This aligns perfectly with our brand and provides us with further options to supplement and expand the product range of HexArmor® with additional product groups," says Stefan Brück. "Following the successful launch of our safety spectacles and helmets, we are now preparing to launch hearing protection products in the USA. Further product groups are planned in the short and medium term. These successes provide us with a solid footing for the future and have helped us reach the decision to increase our involvement in the US market."
The targeted growth strategy from recent years has also significantly increased the positioning of HexArmor® in the American market. "Our core competency lies in the area of cutting, penetration and impact resistance for safety gloves. With the new product solutions from Germany, we have successfully developed our business model further, gained new customers and tapped into additional industries," confirms Steve Van Ermen, President and CEO of HexArmor®. "Our partnership with the UVEX SAFETY GROUP GmbH & Co. KG of Germany has established itself superbly, and the management team in the USA will, of course, remain in place even after the corporate changes take effect." Stefan Brück adds: "Even beyond the level of product and sales cooperation, the partnership has revealed many positive aspects. In areas such as marketing, technology transfer or the use of shared networks, we have been able to learn and greatly benefit from each other. We are therefore delighted to be able to link our activities even more closely together and to firmly establish and continue the rollout of our joint claim "Protecting people" on both sides of the Atlantic."
About the uvex group of Germany
The UVEX WINTER HOLDING GmbH & Co. KG of Germany brings together three globally active companies under one roof: the UVEX SAFETY GROUP GmbH & Co.KG, the (uvex sports and ALPINA), and the Filtral group (Filtral and Primetta). The UVEX WINTER HOLDING GmbH & Co. KG of Germany is represented by 49 subsidiaries in 22 countries, but proudly focuses its manufacturing operations in Germany. 60 percent of its 2900 employees (as of FY 2019/20) are employed in Germany. The UVEX SPORTS GROUP GmbH & Co. KG is a global partner to international elite sport and equips a host of top athletes. The guiding principle—protecting people—is the mission and the duty of the company. To this end, the company develops, manufactures and distributes products and services for the protection of people in sports, leisure and at work.
Performance Fabrics, Inc. (HexArmor®), founded in 2004 by Steve VanErmen and Brent Lohrmann, and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has defined the market for high-performance cutting, stabbing and impact resistance. HexArmor employs more than 200 safety professionals who work hard each day to solve difficult hand protection problems for leading companies in oil and gas, construction, energy, lumber, pulp and paper, transportation and other industrial sectors.