Foresight backs BIMBO of Company Cards with £1.9m investment

Rob Jones

Foresight Group has announced a £1.9m investment supporting the buy-in management buyout of specialist printed plastic card manufacturing business, Company Cards.

Company Cards is a focused digital printing business specialising in printed plastic card manufacture.

Its key products include identity, RFID (radio-frequency identification), membership, gift and loyalty cards.

The company has established itself as one of the UK’s leading small batch card manufacturers through its responsiveness and service levels, which enables it to fulfil orders of between 250-25,000 units to short turnaround times.

The company’s main customers are print brokers and print management companies ultimately supplying thousands of SMEs throughout the UK.

It also offers print finishing services through its subsidiary, The Finishing Touch, and a direct to consumer offering through its online portal, The Plastic Card Factory.

Based in St Helens, Merseyside, Company Cards was founded in 1996 by husband and wife team Tim and Christina Scott, who will remain involved with the business post-investment, along with longstanding operations manager Steve Abbott and commercial manager Hannah Johnso, who becomes a director of the company.

Company Cards currently employs 36 members of staff.

As part of the investment, Foresight has introduced incoming CEO, Andy Matko, the former managing director of Magicard, a desktop card printer manufacturer, where he oversaw significant growth.

Also joining the business is finance director Nicola Beamish, who has extensive experience working with SMEs, large corporates and PE-backed businesses, and chairman Chris Clegg, a former partner with Endless LLP.

Rob Jones, investment manager at Foresight, said: “Company Cards is a successful family business which has posted double digit revenue growth in each of the last four years.

“Its established market position and recent investment in state-of-the-art equipment leave it well placed to take advantage of numerous future development opportunities whilst its web-to-print capability opens up an attractive segment of the market.

“We look forward to working alongside the new management team in the next phase of the company’s growth trajectory.”

Founder Tim Scott added: “Company Cards has been our family business for over 20 years, and the rate of growth since inception is incredible.

“With Foresight’s investment and support the doors are open for the company to continue its success as we take a step back over time.

“Foresight had a strong reputation in the region and I look forward to working with the team.”

In September Foresight’s regional investment fund supported the partial buy-out of ABL Health.

This makes Company Cards the 11th investment by the North-West focused fund.

The Foresight Nottingham Fund recently announced a mezzanine investment into Alpkit, a Nottingham-based retailer of outdoor clothing and equipment.

The investment into Company Cards is split equally between two of Foresight’s institutional regional funds: Foresight Regional Investment LP Fund, and Foresight Nottingham Fund.

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