A long established ship supplier, formerly based in Sunderland, has acquired significantly larger premises and relocated its operations to Washington. Family- run business Gibbons International, whose annual turnover currently stands at £3 million, has recently purchased a 1.3 acre site, with 12,600 sq ft of warehousing and office accommodation on the Crowther Industrial Estate for an undisclosed sum.
For the last 93 years, Gibbons International has been supplying vessels with a wide range of goods including food, hardware and duty free products. Further to this, it has its own fleet of multi-temperature controlled vehicles.
In the last five years the business has grown some 40%, with a large proportion of this now coming from deliveries to European and Scandinavian ports.
MPI Offshore, one of the market leaders in offshore wind installation, is a major customer and the company’s longest-standing client is Danish passenger ferry operator DFDS, who operate the Newcastle to Amsterdam ferry route. It also exports food products to the Falkland Islands and supplies duty free stores to the British bases in the Antarctic.
Gibbons International was supported in this latest phase of its growth and development with legal advice from Durham-based Swinburne Maddison LLP.
Speaking about this latest commercial deal, head of Swinburne Maddison’s commercial property team, partner, Victoria Walton commented, “Gibbons International is a north east success story and we are delighted that we have had the opportunity to assist Ian on such a key aspect of his company’s ongoing success. I am confident that this is a pivotal move as he continues to grow the business and gain market share within the marine supply sector. We look forward to being able to continue providing Ian and his team with further advice as the business develops.”
Funding for the deal was assisted by Barclays Bank.
This latest move provides Gibbons International with much needed warehousing and office space and a significantly larger compound in a more conveniently located position, close to the main arterial routes. This gives the company an excellent facility from which to build further its established reputation.
Speaking about the deal, Ian Gibbons, who is the third generation of his family to head up the business, commented, “Over the past 93 years we have built up an enviable reputation and name synonymous in the ship supply sector for delivering quality products and high levels of service. We now have much larger operational premises, close to the A1 and main arterial routes, so the move gives us further flexibility to build on the current growth in the offshore wind turbine industry.”
MPI Offshore’s Liam Duggan also welcomed the move. He said, “Given the high level of service and quality which was consistently received by the MPI vessels whilst in North East ports, we were happy to initially trial deliveries further afield with great success. During 2014, Gibbons International successfully gave the same standard of service and quality when delivering to ports in France, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. I am confident that the move will only improve the already impressive way in which Ian and his team are able to tackle any challenges which they given.”
Gibbons International has retained its original butcher’s shop in Sunderland which first opened in 1936. With further assistance from Swinburne Maddison tenancies have been established for the buildings which were previously used for ship supplies.
Pictured are Victoria Walton, partner Swinburne Maddison, Ian Gibbons, Gibbons International and Giles McCourt, solicitor Swinburne Maddison.