Your trusted partner for innovative foam solutions for over 70 years
Norman Grimshaw formed the original company, Vitafoam Limited, on £100 capital at Glen Mill in Oldham, England. The company manufactured latex cushions and mattresses. Its first customer was Wrays furniture retailers in Lees, Oldham and the original cheque payment for £39 has been preserved and retained. From these humble beginnings a multinational company was born.
The company moved to its new home in Middleton, which has been the location for its head office ever since. Vitafoam became established as purveyors of quality comfort products. It was during this decade it diversified into automotive products and carpet underlay.
Vitafoam had a thirst for expansion and established several overseas businesses. The company was made public and listed on the London Stock Exchange. New products were introduced in the UK through Vitafoam’s first slab stock production of polyether foam.
Further joint ventures were established across the globe. Acquisitions fuelled growth and polyester foam technology was introduced to the company with the acquisition of the Caligen Group. This acquisition also introduced Caligen Europe to the Netherlands, making it the company’s first business in mainland Europe.
This decade was a period of growth through acquisition in Europe and many of today’s brands were acquired, including flooring business Ball & Young. Each retained its identity and unique technologies. A technological breakthrough in the UK meant Vitafoam launched combustion-modified high-resilience foams (CMHR) ahead of market expectations.
Latex was reintroduced with the acquisition of Radium Foam BV. Vita expanded into Poland with the launch of a greenfield manufacturing plant at Brzeg Dolny in 1993, followed by further joint ventures and investments in Eastern Europe.
Expansion in Eastern Europe continued with further conversion sites and greenfield factories opening in Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. The parent company British Vita PLC was taken into private ownership and became known as The Vita Group.
Geographic expansion continued with new conversion facilities commissioned in Croatia, Bulgaria, the Republic of Serbia and Albania. Ball & Young strengthened its position and competitiveness with expansion of its state-of-the-art production facility. In response to the continuing growth in its comfort markets, Vita invested in increased capacity (primarily curing and storage) in Lithuania, Hungary, Romania and the UK. Vita Technical opened conversion facilities in Poland and China.
In May 2018, all shares in the Vita Group were acquired by investment funds managed by SVP Global.
Vita’s ability to continuously innovate was recognised in 2019 with five significant industry awards: ‘Best of the Best’ at Interzum for Vita Talalay in collaboration with its customer Veldeman for Velde Resleep; ‘High Product Quality’ at Interzum for Nightshade pillow by Vita Baltic; ‘Innovation of the Year’ for FRee, TCPP-free foam, at the UK NBF Awards; Interior Monthly Magazine’s ‘Best Flooring Accessory Supplier’ and ‘National Flooring Innovation’ for Ultra Fresh technology and its environment impact on being the ‘best-in-class with low emissions’.
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