Dowson eyes European expansion after UK acquisition

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: New product development, Europe

Dowson wants to boost its export business to Western Europe
Dowson wants to boost its export business to Western Europe
Dowson Food Machinery will expand its export business into Western Europe following the acquisition of JBS in the UK.

The UK-based bakery engineering specialist – part of the Spooner Ovens group – finalized its acquisition of JBS for an undisclosed sum this week.

Commercial director at Dowson Nick Lacey said the move will strengthen the firm’s export business.

“European coverage is something we want to grow with this acquisition and there’s the opportunity to do so now with the strength of the group,”​ Lacey told

“Currently we do about 25-30% of business in exports but we’d like to get up to 40-45%, we would hope within two years,”​ he said.

Western Europe target

Dowson has presence in the US, South Africa, Russia and Australia but will target Western Europe with the added strength of JBS.

“We haven’t really got into the details of which countries specifically we want to expand into. We want to get everything bedded in first – making sure we understand the newly acquired business and lines,” ​he said.

The acquisition will also boost UK business, he said, because Dowson and JBS deal with most of the major bakeries. “We’re just looking at offering more bakery machines and market coverage,”​ Lacey said.

The buy means that parent company Spooner Ovens now has a strong portfolio of bakery machinery – covering everything from ovens, packaging and front-end manufacturing.

“Customers want a full portfolio on offer. Especially on larger projects, they are looking for a one-stop,”​ he said.

Accuracy and reliability

As the company moves into new European markets, the commercial director said the ‘British built’ aspect would be a selling point.

“We’ve got a very good engineering background and a lot of expertise. Dependability and good reliability as well as accuracy are important to customers,”​ he said.

Dowson may look to expanding capacity as its export business grows, he said, but there are no plans to do so yet.

Lacey revealed the firm has already started new product development projects after the JBS buy, including a new divider/molder that does not need flour dusting on the belt to reduce airborne contaminants in the atmosphere.

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