The History of Reid Brothers UK 

Reid Brothers UK have been in the game a long time and 2018 marked a special occasion for the company. In 2018, we reached our sesquicentennial anniversary, celebrating 150 years in trading. -- making us older than Irn-Bru.

As a small company based in the Ibrox area of Glasgow, we specialise in industrial strapping, banding and load securing equipment. Over the years we have built up a diverse group of customers within a wide range of industries including offshore, construction, manufacturing, and logistics, to name a few.

It’s an exciting time for our small company which started back in 1868 with just 2 men to its name. The founders of Reid Brothers, Joseph Reid and William Hutchison began the company trading as engineering and colliery furnishers, reaching out to miners in the Scottish trade. Becoming an established business just 12 years later, the company began trading internationally and became well known worldwide, with several offices opening up in Johannesburg, South Africa and throughout various cities in Australia. Reid Brothers began to thrive internationally, however, it was the South African office where the business started to boom.

With this popularity and growth of business in South Africa, the Johannesburg branch changed its name to Reid Brothers South Africa in 1918 which then, in turn, operated a number of subsidiary companies across Southern Africa. Despite being a smaller version of the Glasgow branch, Reid Brothers then went on to become well-known suppliers of machinery to engineers and allied trades, becoming a public company. 

Reid Brothers - SA

However, following this success, years later in 1969 the South African office was acquired by an alternative company, African Oxygen Ltd., which is still running to this day as Sub-Saharan Africa’s market leader in gases and welding products. With most business taking place in Johannesburg, Afrox purchased the entire ordinary shares of the company and each South African branch, leaving just the original division of Glasgow left to deal with its trade. 

Sadly, when original founder William Hutchison passed away, his shares of Reid Brothers were passed onto Joseph Reid. Then following Joseph’s passing, shares were distributed among his family, Joseph Reid Jr,, James Melross Reid and John Ormiston, who were already directors and shareholders within the company, so it was left in safe hands.

Almost 120 years after its original starting point, Mr Reid, the descendant of the company, decided to put Reid Brothers up for sale and this is where Barnbury Enterprises stepped in and attained the business. The trading name continued as part of Barnbury Enterprises, but with such a long and illustrious history, the name Reid Brothers did not change, allowing the company to hold on to that history and trade alongside parent company Thorne and Derrick.

Following this takeover, 27 years later in 2015 saw a management buyout. Our Managing Director, Danny Rooney, who had been working with the company for 30 years, since he was an office junior, bought out Reid Brothers. UK Steel Enterprise helped by investing a six-figure funding package to back this management buyout of Reid Brothers Int. Ltd., with Danny being the sole shareholder and that is where we are today. 

Growing from strength to strength, we have recently launched our brand new website, displaying our products and services in a catalogue style fashion, as well as launching our own SureFast product line. This progressive move has placed Reid Brothers UK firmly within the market as leaders in plastic strapping, stainless steel banding and load securing products. 

 Reid Brothers - South Africa Office

A summarised timeline of Reid Brothers UK history

1868 – Joseph Reid was actively furnishing engineering works and collieries through his company Reid Bros which was based in St Enoch’s Square in Glasgow. 

1880 – Reid Bros was established in Glasgow, Scotland, still trading as engineering and colliery furnishers.

The company quickly established a foreign trade with branches opening in Johannesburg (South Africa) Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. (Australia)

1889 – The Reid-Hutchison partnership was converted into a joint-stock company, Reid Bros (Johannesburg) Ltd, with registered offices situated in Glasgow, the former partners being the principal shareholders. 

The company then developed its trade in South Africa opening another office in Durban, with the Johannesburg office incorporated to handle the South African export trade. Both offices acted as agents for Scottish and English companies exporting engineering machinery and parts. 

1901 – The firm was incorporated as Reid Bros (Glasgow) Ltd with registered offices situated in St. Enoch’s Square, Glasgow.

The company had a share capital of £80,000 with Joseph Reid as the chairman of the company and Joseph Reid Jnr, James Melross Reid and John Ormiston Reid as directors. Reid Brothers had a number of subsidiary companies that handled its foreign trade.

1907 – Became a private limited liability company.

When William Hutchison passed away, his shares in the company were passed onto Joseph Reid. Upon Joseph’s death, shares were distributed among his family, most of whom were already directors and shareholders in Reid Bros (Glasgow) Ltd, the successor company of Reid Bros. 

1918 – With registered offices based in Johannesburg, Reid Brothers (Johannesburg) Ltd changed its name to Reid Bros (South Africa) Ltd, and in turn operated a number of subsidiary companies across Southern Africa, particularly in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). 

The South African division of the company was a subsidiary of Reid Bros (Glasgow) Ltd, based in Glasgow, who acted as suppliers of machinery to engineers and allied trades. 

1946 – Reid Bros (South Africa) Ltd was converted into a public company. 

1969 – Reid Bros (South Africa) Ltd was acquired by African Oxygen Ltd (Afrox), a sub-Saharan Africa’s market leader in gases and welding products. The Linde Group, the parent engineering and technology company, based in Johannesburg, purchased the entire ordinary share capital of the company.  

1988 – Mr Reid, the descendant of Joseph Reid, put the business up for sale. Barnbury Enterprises Ltd acquired the business, the trading name continued as part of Barnbury Enterprises.

With such a long and famous history, Reid Brothers (Glasgow) kept its name and continued to trade alongside Thorne & Derrick. 

1991 – Reid Bros (Glasgow) Ltd was dissolved. 

2014 – Expansion of their own SureFast product line.

2015 – Management buyout - Managing Director, Danny Rooney became the sole shareholder of Reid Bros Int Ltd. With UK Steel Enterprise investing a six-figure funding package to back the management buyout of Reid Brothers Int Ltd. 

2018 – Reid Brothers UK celebrating 150 years.