Fri, 04 Sep 2020 | BUSINESS SALE
Private equity fund Elaghmore has completed the acquisition of Kent-based signage business Blaze Signs. Blaze, which employs 250 staff and recorded £25 million in revenue for 2019, is headquartered in Broadstairs, Kent and also has a large manufacturing and service centre in Birmingham.
The company makes signs for some of the UK’s best-known brands, including Lloyds Bank, Sainsburys, Tesco and Vision Express, and during the COVID-19 pandemic has expanded into producing social distancing and signage solutions.
The acquisition also includes the company’s trading subsidiaries Blaze Signs Ltd and Cygnia Maintenance Ltd, the UK’s largest sign maintenance, repair and image protection business.
The businesses will join Elaghmore’s Hexcite Group, which also owns display solutions company Kesslers and visual displays firm Gardners. The acquisition will drive annual turnover at the group to around £60 million, with a customer base of over 100 brands and retailers worldwide. Like Blaze, Kesslers and Gardners have proven adaptable to the challenges of COVID-19, continuing to trade throughout the pandemic.
Blaze Signs Holdings Chief Executive Clive Knight said: "We are delighted to be joining forces with the Hexcite Group businesses and are excited about accelerating the growth and development of Blaze by working closely with numerous likeminded colleagues, who understand the vital importance of innovation, quality and first-class service for our many retail and brand owning customers."
Blaze represents the ninth acquisitions made by Elaghmore through its £60 million initial private equity fund Elaghmore I. The fund focuses on businesses with significant scope for growth and value creation.
Michael Rice, Investment Director at Elaghmore and a Director of Hexcite Group, commented: "By becoming part of the Hexcite Group, Blaze will add new capabilities that increase the ways we can help our customers as well as growing our network of retailers and brands.”
“One of the things that links Blaze, Gardners and Kesslers is a belief in first-class customer service. All three businesses have demonstrated this focus during this challenging time. They have rapidly adapted their products and services to address the needs of their customers, including developing social distancing solutions.”
“We are delighted to welcome our new colleagues from Blaze and Cygnia to the Elaghmore portfolio and to Hexcite. Together, we look forward to growing our share of the marketplace and would embrace opportunities to add other compatible businesses to the Group.”
In Blaze Signs Holdings’ accounts to the year ended March 31 2020, the company reported that COVID-19 had impacted short-term demand, but that long-term prospects remained “very good”.
The company’s gross profit margin increased from 36.7 per cent in March 2019 to 39.4 per cent, which EBITDA increased from £1.4 million to £2.04 million and net current assets were valued at £3.11 million, up from £2.03 million in 2019. Gross profit for the year stood at £9.1 million, up from £8.4 million.
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