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‘Seven-figure’ loan-backed acquisition for Stockport online voting specialist

Stockport online voting specialist Print Image Network (PIN) has been acquired by London-based Owner Venture Managers in a deal backed by a ‘seven-figure’ loan from Frontier Development Capital (FDC).

PIN serves councils nationwide and is one of the leading providers of electoral printing, data and mailing services, such as ballot books, poll cards and postal voting packs. Its fast-growing UK Engage arm offers internet voting and AGM services to associations and membership bodies. It acts as an Independent Scrutineer or Returning Officer, helping to run processes such as trustee elections, membership ballots and AGMs, and is one of the few able to run trades union ballots.

The acquisition by Owner Venture Managers will allow for the eventual retirement of directors John Foster and Stephen Power, who founded the business in 2000. Both founders will retain a stake in the business and continue to lead its growth in the immediate future. Print Image Network employs over 20 staff in Stockport and works with a network of production partners throughout the UK.

John Foster, director of Print Image Network, said: “Stephen and I have worked hard to build the business over the past 20-odd years and have a great client base and a fantastic team. We wanted to find an investment partner who could safeguard our legacy and take the business forward. We liked the approach taken by Owner Venture Managers and look forward to working with their team as we continue to grow the business.”

Owner Venture Managers was founded by James Wooster over 20 years ago and now has 15 portfolio companies. It specialises in acquiring owner-managed SMEs and helping them with succession planning.

Ondrej Okeke, investment director at Frontier Development Capital, said: “Print Image Network’s bespoke and highly professional service plays a key role in helping to deliver local democracy. The company also has a growing client base in the private sector, and increased use of e-voting and digital technology offers scope for further expansion in the future. The acquisition by Owner Venture Managers will help the business to put succession plans in place, build its management team and provide additional capital to support its continued growth.”

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