The letters HG are derived from the name of a Swedish businessman - Håkan Gip. In the early 1960s he had a number of high-quality cleaning products developed by the University of Stockholm, which were primarily intended for swimming pools.
In 1969, a small Dutch company, Van Altena B.V. from Heemstede, started to import these HG products from Sweden. This did not only prove successful in the world of swimming pools, but also amongst builders’ merchants who sold ceramic tiles.
During the middle of the 1970s, the Swedish company HG was sold to a Finnish company. When they decided to move the HG factory to northwest Finland, Van Altena B.V. decided to produce the HG products in the Netherlands because of the distance between northwest Finland and the Netherlands. They purchased the HG formulas and brand rights from the Finnish company and they started up a small production facility in Oldenzaal.
After a few very successful years for the company Van Altena B.V., the Dutch economy entered into recession at the beginning of the 1980s; this led to difficult times for Van Altena, with years of heavy losses. In 1982, the Board of Van Altena B.V. decided to engage an external consultant to advise Management on a strategy that would tackle these problems and issues.
After a thorough analysis of the market, they decided to shift the focus from swimming pools and builders’ merchants to the consumer market. During the same period, they also worked on positioning the HG brand - “HG would have to be the brand for all cleaning and maintenance problems in and around the house.” Besides the familiar good quality, innovation also became an important pillar of the concept.
Furthermore, the company worked hard on expanding exports through importers. Belgium, the UK, and Germany were the first export countries, but many others followed suit - not only in Europe, but also in the Middle East, Asia, Canada, and the United States.
At the beginning of the 1990s, the factory in Oldenzaal, which had already been expanded several times, had become too small again and the Head Office in Hillegom also lacked room for further expansion. The decision was taken to combine both sites under one roof in Almere, and the move to these brand-new premises on the polder land (the former Zuiderzee) was completed on 1 January 1997.
In 2000, the English importer was acquired and the name of this company was changed to HG Hagesan UK Ltd.
On 1 July 2009, HG Spain S.L. officially opened its doors and HG Italia S.r.l. started on 1 September 2011. Since that date, the Spanish and Italian markets – as well as the Dutch, Belgian, German and UK markets - are being served by our own people. In all other countries we work with local importers. Worldwide, the HG brand is available through many retail channels - from the tile trade to chemists and from DIY stores to supermarkets. All over the world consumers choose the tried and trusted quality of HG!