HillsTalk Sep 2017

Hills celebrate 90 years of success

The UK’s leading number plate manufacturer celebrated 90 years of success in the automotive trade in May. Hills Numberplates Ltd has been Britain’s biggest supplier of registration plates since opening its doors in 1927. The company was first based in London before moving to Birmingham in 1996 to be more central for its customers across the UK. And since moving to the West Midlands, Hills has doubled in size with more than 250 members of staff, as well as taking other manufacturing companies under its wing. Reaching this remarkable milestone is a reflection of Hills heritage, diversity, core values and determination that has enabled them to succeed and prosper to plausible heights.

Hills pride and honour are the tremendous, loyal and hardworking employees who have helped carry and develop this business. The friendly family culture at Hills is truly unique and it starts from the very top with the Directors; Richard Taffinder, Chris Glendinning, Kathryn Jenkins and Adrian Berry.

Richard Taffinder, Group Managing Director of Hills said: “It is a fantastic achievement to be celebrating such a milestone with Hills. “The secret to Hills’ success isn’t just the products we make and supply, it is down to our dedicated workforce, which I have no doubt is the reason behind where we are today.” Now in its 90th year Hills is the biggest supplier of number plates in the world. However, when the recession hit in 2008 Hills feared that may be the end of the business due to the lack of people buying cars. “The recession was a tough time for Hills, as it was for many businesses across the UK,” Mr Taffinder added. “But through hard work and determination the company came back stronger than ever securing our reputation as the marker leader for number plate solutions in the UK and France.” He continued: “I would like to thank everyone who has helped us reach 90 years in business and look forward to what the future has to offer us.”

Hills history timeline shows the remarkable journey of the business, achievements and development into niche markets and global investments. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners, suppliers, customers and employees for their support throughout our journey in making Hills Group International the diverse business it is today.

Hills Group International

Hills Numberplates Ltd have diversified the business by acquiring niche manufacturing companies to expand their portfolio. There are a number of businesses that fall under Hills Numberplates Ltd which are now divided into the automotive and industrial sectors of Hills Group International. The automotive side of Hills Group International will include companies that manufacture licence plates for over 20 countries and the industrial sector will house niche businesses that cater for diverse industries such as health care, retail and brewery.

Wald Acquisition

On Thursday 7th September 2017 Hills Numberplates Ltd announces acquisition of 100 percent of the privately held shares of American engineered systems integrator John R. Wald Company, Inc. (Wald) for an undisclosed sum.

Left to right: Eric Pizutti, CEO, Hills Numberplates US, Michael Rodli, JR Wald Richard Taffinder, Group Managing Director, Hills Numberplates Ltd

Wald is a privately held company founded in 1924, located in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. The business operates from a 15,000 sq ft facility with a work force of 26 people. In 93 years of business Wald has developed an established portfolio of license plate products, engineered systems and a remarkable reputation for their services. Wald is a division of Hills and will maintain its company name, brand and work force to continue operations. Eric E. Pizzuti has been recruited as the Chief Executive Officer of Wald with responsibility for the business in the Americas. Eric Pizzuti was formerly a Vice President of AstroNova, Inc. & General Manager of its QuickLabel group, the largest division. Through his 20 years of work with QuickLabel, he brings to Wald extensive experience from work with his team in the areas product identification, data visualization technology, digital color printing systems, industrial automation, software and materials science, including application-specific projects in the digital license plate segment since the 1990’s.

This acquisition together with the acquisition of French market leader, Faab Fabricauto in 2015, has positioned Hills as the third largest number plate supplier in the world. Richard Taffinder, Hills Group Managing Director commented “Our own global leadership in the license plate industry and 90-years of experience, combined with our advanced manufacturing processes and well-established supply chain, will drive new and innovative license plate solutions as well as an expanded product portfolio that will satisfy the evolving needs of Wald customers and the wider market in the Americas and beyond.” Mr. Taffinder continued, “With the union of these two financially sound industry leaders, our one company increases its market share significantly and can better leverage its combined teams, resources and know-how for the enhanced delivery of products and services to customers globally in both the public and private sectors.”

New Director of Legal Services

Hills Numberplates Ltd are pleased to announce the appointment of Rob Laugharne as Director of Group Legal Services with immediate effect. Rob will be responsible for Hills Group legal activities and contribute toward acquisition strategy both national and international.

Rob comes with a wealth of experience from Irwin Mitchell LLP where he specialised in providing legal advice in the private and public sectors on mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings and joint ventures.

The Irwin Mitchell team headed by Rob Laugharne have been instrumental in providing legal advice for Hills acquisitions both within the domestic and international markets. Rapid and dynamic growth of the company required an in house legal representative to closely manage mergers and deals, hence the appointment of Rob Laugharne.

Rob commented “Having worked with Hills for a number of years I have built a fantastic relationship with the Directors and have a thorough understanding of their business objectives. I look forward to my new role at Hills and contributing to their successful journey.”

Hills support John Taylor Hospice

This year’s golf tournament was held at Robin Hood Golf Club in Solihull to raise funding for John Taylor Hospice in Erdington. The hospice has been providing ‘Taylor Made’ end of life care to families in Birmingham since 1910. This is a not for profit social enterprise and retain NHS values of high quality care. With support from our customers and suppliers we were able to raise £1,300 for John Taylor Hospice.

Hills 2017 golf tournament was sponsored by KEP Print Group.

Golf tournament returns 2018

Hills will be hosting the 2018 golf tournament at Robin Hood Golf Club in Solihull on Thursday 28th June. You can enter your team now by emailing satinder.lahory@hillsnumberplates.com.

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