The Denso anti-corrosive tapes were introduced into the Australian market by the late Mr. George Hallenstein, the founder and managing director of Gatic (Australia) Pty Ltd.
On a visit to the United Kingdom shortly after World War II, Mr. Hallenstein saw a use for the tapes and compounds in the protection of plant in the tanneries with which his family had a long association.
Gatic obtained an agency for the Denso products and commenced importing from the UK in the early 1950’s.
Mr. Hallenstein soon realised that the tanneries market was very limited and that pipelines could be a large market for the products. Many more situations which were subject to aggressive corrosion action were soon identified such as steel mills, paper mills, bridges and so on. Nevertheless business was quite slow and in 1961 the entire stocks of Denso held in Australia would fit into one small room. However, in the early 1960’s, business began to build up and a lease was taken on a disused ice works which was converted into a store as full shipping container loads of products arrived from the UK on a regular basis. Branch offices and stores were set up in all states and the products continued to gain acceptance.
In 1968 the Australian Government attempted to protect certain operations of the Australian textile industry by putting a heavy duty on any imported product containing textiles. The duty was based on the overall weight of the product and not just the weight of the textile component. On this basis the rate of duty for Denso tapes amounted to 201%.
Naturally the effect on the marketing for the tapes was dramatic and Mr. David Winn, a director of Winn & Coales, came to Australia with a view to negotiate with the Government for a concession. After consideration, the relevant Minister – Senator Scott, agreed that the tariff duty would be refunded provided manufacturing in Australia commenced within twelve months.
Mr. Bill Rogers, then a director of Gatic, went to the UK and negotiated a 50/50 joint venture with Mr. F. B. Coales, who was then managing director and chairman of Winn & Coales. A plant was designed and assembled and manufacturing actually commenced within nine months of Senator Scott’s edict. Bill Rogers became the chairman of Denso (Australia) Pty. Ltd. which was incorporated to carry on the joint venture, a post which he still retains.
The original investment by the participating companies was $12,500 each in 1969. Winn & Coales purchased Gatic’s share for $2.5M in 1987.
The manufacturing plant was initially located in the Gatic foundry area as indeed was the Denso Australia office to produce “Denso” tape. The office and plant were moved to new premises at 411 Victoria Street, Brunswick in 1985 and the business is still carried on at that address. Denso Australia consider themselves to be leaders in corrosion prevention and sealing systems for industry, and now manufactures and or markets a range of anti-corrosive and sealing systems.