David Brown has pledged to continue investing in its Huddersfield site following the announcement of a major merger today.

The Lockwood-based gear systems manufacturer has joined forces with international gear engineering brand Santasalo to create David Brown Santasalo – billed as a “truly global force” in the mechanical power transmission industry.

The 250-strong workforce at David Brown’s Park Works site were told about the merger this morning while UK managing director Steve Watson said the tie-up provided “significant opportunities for growth and development of our people, brand and business”.

The merger with Finnish firm Santasalo creates a business with more than 1,000 employees, seven major manufacturing plants and 23 service centres across six continents – with plans to open more service centres over the next 12 months.

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David Brown and Santasalo – both owned by Glasgow-based Clyde Blowers Capital – together have more than 150 years experience in gear manufacture and have expanded over the past decade into high-growth countries such as China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines. The merged business has more than 5,000 customers worldwide.

David Brown is a major supplier of parts for military applications – including the latest Royal Navy frigates and British army armoured personnel vehicles – as well as the mining and power industries. It has manufacturing sites in the UK, France, Australia, South Africa and Canada as well as service centres in Chile, India, South Africa, Dubai, Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia.

Santasalo, which was bought by Clyde in 2012, supplies equipment used in areas such as power generation, mining, paper production and the sugar industry. Based in Jyväskylä it has more than 450 employees globally. Santasalo was bought by Clyde in 2012.

Steve Watson, managing director of David Brown Gear Systems

In a statement announcing the merger, Mr Watson said: “David Brown Santasalo is a new chapter in our successful history and we’re looking forward to the future.

“Building on the exceptional performance we’ve achieved over the past three years, the merger provides significant opportunities for growth and development of our people, brand and business.

“As a provider of assurance-critical gearing to defence applications, we will continue to invest in our Park Works site and our workforce to ensure our capabilities and expertise lead the industry.

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“We are a strong business, made even stronger by the merger and we’re fully focused on delivering the gear engineering expertise we’re renowned for to more customers in a wider variety of global industries.”

The statement said: “Under Clyde Blowers Capital ownership, David Brown Santasalo has benefited from significant investment in world-class manufacturing, new product development and service centre expansion.

“The business is ideally equipped to serve its growing customer base in commodities, marine, defence, power, industrial and consumer end markets.”