Joinwell and FXB, two of the most well-established and longest standing furniture companies in Malta, have entered into a memorandum of understanding to merge their companies.
The two companies combine 200 years of experience as pioneers in the furniture importation and manufacturing sector. Today, Joinwell is a recognised leader in kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms and other imported furniture whilst FXB is a dominant presence in contract furniture manufacturing, bespoke and office. The FXB Group has in recent years also established a presence in air-conditioning, renewable energy, bathrooms and tiles through their subsidiaries Econetique and Bath Concept.
The merged operations are expected to bring a one-stop shop concept to both their business and retail customer base.
“Our joint potential provided the right impetus to meet our individual ambitions through the merging of the two companies” stated Sebastian de Giorgio, Joinwell’s current CEO and set to become a Joint Executive Director of the merged companies.
He adds: “both Joinwell and FXB are very strong brands and have a great track record in the industry. They share very similar traditions and values and already have very positive past experiences working together, both locally and abroad. Thus, the merger is a very logical next step to build on our individual and common success. Moreover, we have limited business overlap which takes us to a position of growth and a full-service portfolio, which should prove appealing to our current and future customers, both B2C and B2B”.
Joseph Borg, Managing Director of FXB and also Joint Executive Director of the planned merged entities added that “the concept of a one-stop shop for retail and contract clients gives us a number of advantages, including the possibility of streamlining our services and processes for our joint customers whilst we build on the strengths. The joint entity will have a stronger purchasing position which translates in more competitive pricing for our potential customers. This merger is a great opportunity to focus on the further development of environmentally sustainable practices whilst sharing with each other successful technologies and procedures as well as delivering critical mass to sustain our plans of building a stronger corporate structure”.
Going forward the joint entities aim to provide a seamless continuation of existing services and build on the current market leading customer care practices. The current and future customer base will have even stronger guarantees that their purchases will be underwritten by a solid business with an increasing focus on sustainability and value.
Once the merger becomes effective, it is anticipated that, FXB’s showroom in Qormi will move into the Joinwell showroom (also in Qormi) whereas Joinwell’s factory will move into the FXB factory in San Gwann which is planned to become the combined manufacturing centre for bespoke furniture. The FXB factories in Gozo will in turn focus on volume production of contract furniture and apertures including fire-rated doors. There are also plans to boost the FXB showroom in Gozo with Joinwell’s premium furniture brands.
Joinwell was founded in 1947 by George Galea and his brothers and started by repairing war-damaged doors and apertures along with contracts from the British services in Malta. They were joined in the ’60s by Maurice de Giorgio. The company went on to concentrate on commercial and marine contracts and bespoke commissions. Years later Joinwell started importing premium furniture brands from Europe. In 2008 the company moved from its iconic showroom in Sliema to a new, larger state-of-the-art showroom in Qormi. Nikolai and Sebastian de Giorgio, the grandchildren of Maurice de Giorgio, acquired the operation in 2021 whereby they embarked on an investment plan to expand the company’s width and depth of supply. Currently, the company is a leader in retail kitchens, bedrooms, and bespoke manufacturing.
The current company was incorporated in 1970 but the origins of the family business can be traced to well over 125 years from today. In 1890 Francis Borg, trained as a master-carpenter in Malta and on his return to the sister island of Gozo he set up his own small workshop. His son Francis Xavier and George took over his concern soon after the Second World War. In 1970 the company, then registered under the name Francis X. Borg Co. Ltd. took the leap and transformed from a simple carpentry workshop to full industrialization through the construction of the first factory in Gozo. In the ‘80s the company exported kitchen cabinet doors to the UK whilst maintaining a solid local market base. The FXB Group today manufactures its furniture in two plants in Gozo and another factory in Malta and includes Econetique, the renewable energy company and Bath Concept Ltd with its trademark WaterArt. The Group is currently managed by Joseph Borg, the grandson of the founder.
Photo (from left to right): Iro Bezzina (FXB), Sebastian de Giorgio (Joinwell), Joseph Borg (FXB), Nikolai de Giorgio (Joinwell), Ivan Caruana (FXB). Location: Joinwell Boardroom in Qormi.