Lulu investment

Middle Eastern retail giant to open £15m European HQ in Birmingham

Y International, a subsidiary of the billion pound retail giant LuLu Group International, is investing £15m into a new 124,000 sq ft European headquarters in Birmingham, creating 80 jobs.

The Middle Eastern heavyweight will process, package and export some 10,000 different products from the Midlands to over 160 hypermarkets across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Far East.

A delegation from the group’s global Abu Dhabi headquarters - including director of Y International and Lulu Group International Mohamed Althaf - visited Birmingham yesterday (14 Feb), to officially confirm the deal. <span ">

Leader of Birmingham City Council, cllr Ian Ward, said: "The decision to make the Advanced Manufacturing Hub LuLu Group’s European headquarters is fantastic news for the region. Increasing levels of foreign investment from global companies like this is testament to not only the strength of Birmingham’s industrial legacy, but proof that the current strategy to grow the economy and create high-quality local jobs is working.

“The city’s strong track record in attracting investment has only been made possible by close, collaborative working across the private and public sectors, with organisations such as the Department for International Trade proving invaluable in bringing investment into the region.

“Y International’s presence here will reinforce Birmingham’s position as a key gateway to the rest of the UK and European markets, and has the potential to generate further interest from across the Middle East”.

Y International represents the fourth investment project secured at the AMH. The site has already attracted German tool manufacturer Guhring, which opened its £12 million UK headquarters there earlier this year; and HydraForce – a US hydraulics manufacturer, whose 120,000 sq ft factory opened in 2015. Salts Healthcare recently agreed to take the Hub’s over 1,400.

The move into the AMH followed the purchasing of land from Homes England and Birmingham City Council, in a deal secured by Savills. Inward Investment agency Business Birmingham is supporting the transition, whilst advisors on the deal include JLL, Freeths and Coltham Developments.

Tony Perks, director of operations at Y International UK, added: “Birmingham has created the ideal base for Y International, forming an integral part of LuLu Group’s European expansion plans. When comparing potential locations, Birmingham offered a cost-effective and well-connected location, as well as readily-available, high quality space, making our decision easy.

“The acquisition of the land at the Advanced Manufacturing Hub gives Y International the opportunity to construct a large purpose-built production facility. This will enable the company to increase sales and is expected to result in an increase in staff from the existing 160 to 240, all recruited from the local area.”

The AMH is one of six Economic Zones in the city established by Birmingham City Council, designed to accelerate growth specifically within the advanced manufacturing sector by offering incentives such as simplified planning, gap funding and recruitment support.

The region’s advanced manufacturing sector remains a key component of its inward investment strategy. More foreign businesses invested in the West Midlands in 2016/17 than anywhere outside London and the South East, according to the Department for International Trade’s latest figures.<span ">

The region created 6,570 new jobs and attracted a total of 151 new foreign direct investment (FDI) projects from key target markets including the US, Germany, China and India.

Published: 15 February 2018

Article by Bryce Wilcock
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