Print and design PLC goes on acquisition trail with deal for Liverpool business

David Prior's picture
by David Prior

AIM-listed print and design business Grafenia has acquired Liverpool-based signmaker Arthur Diamond Design Limited (ADD Signs).

The Manchester-headquartered company said the deal will boost its expertise in the design, manufacture and installation of building signs and vehicle graphics.

Owner Mark Eccleston will join the business as regional director and continue to lead the team at Liverpool-based ADD Signs, which recorded a turnover of approximately £375,000 for the year to the end of December 2016.

Peter Gunning, CEO of Grafenia, said “After working on projects with Mark and his team for several years, we are delighted to welcome them to the Grafenia family. We have ambitious plans for making signs a bigger part of our offering and are excited that Mark shares our vision.”

In the year ending December 31, 2016, ADD Signs’ turnover was approximately £375,000.

Mark said “We’ve grown our business steadily over the past few years and were looking for ways to take it to the next level. Making cool signs for Nettl, I was intrigued by their business model. When the guys shared their plans with me, it just felt like it made sense and I wanted to play a part in making it happen.”

As well as printing, Grafenia supplies a range of expo and point-of-sale signage products through Nettl and printing.com partners.

Last year Grafenia invested in equipment to enter the expanding soft signage market which, according to Smithers Pira, is forecast to grow at 20 per cent per year until 2019 and to double in size within five years.

The PLC made £10.8m in the year to March 2016, with a loss of £260,000.

It said the acquisition was the first in its planned strategy for growth and that they were now looking for other signage businesses on Merseyside.

Pictured: Grafenia CEO Peter Gunning (left) with ADD Signs owner Mark Eccleston