Grafenia makes £3m acquisition

Listed Manchester-based print and website design firm Grafenia has acquired a large format sign manufacturer and exhibition contractor for up to £3m.

Image Everything Limited, which operates from a 60,000 sq ft facility near the Trafford Centre in Manchester, was founded in 1998 and today has 41 employees. The company provides merchandising, retail graphics, site branding, signage, promotional advertising and exhibition solutions.

It had a turnover of £5.53m, with a £590,000 pre-tax proft, for the year to the end of May 2017.

Its product range extends from simple banners and pop ups, to full building wraps (even going as big as a castle), fleet vehicle wrapping, stadium branding and nationwide sign roll-out projects. Image provides conceptual design, detailed project planning, site survey, manufacture and national installation.

Clients range from independent businesses to blue-chip household names, such as Manchester City Football Club, English Rugby and Center Parcs.

Vendors Neil Cousins, John Fitzgerald and David Brunt will remain with Image, leading the team and further developing the business as part of Grafenia.

Grafenia – which posted a pre-tax loss of just under £1m for the year to the end of March on a turnover of £10.45m – said the acquisition is cash flow generative and once integrated will be earnings enhancing.

The initial consideration, paid on completion, comprises cash of £1.15m, together with vendor loan notes of £1.25m. A further £600,000 is payable upon the achievement of certain financial performance targets.

Peter Gunning, chief executive of Grafenia, said: “Despite us being in the same neighbourhood and same market, there’s hardly any overlap in the products we currently make and sell to our clients. It just makes sense to combine our two businesses and present clients with a more joined-up experience.

“Image’s size means we have instant capacity to scale our signs business and centrally produce a new range of signage and display products.

“In turn, this makes our Nettl partner offering more compelling. It moves us closer to our aim of developing Nettl into the leading network of web, print and sign studios in the UK and further afield.”

Neil Cousins, joint founder of Image, said: “Joining forces with Grafenia is an organic fit and provides us with the catalyst to reach more customers, with more solutions, at a much faster pace.

“Grafenia’s vision for a nationwide network of Nettl studios was exciting to us and we see a unique opportunity and a moment in time to scale and develop something truly special together”.

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