The deal completed on 28 November for an undisclosed sum.
Lintec Graphic Films had been distributing products for Lintec since its inception 22 years ago, initially for its US subsidiary Madico, but it soon started exclusively distributing Japanese products for the $2bn-turnover (£1.7bn) group to Europe. At this point it asked to change its name to incorporate the Lintec brand but it remained an independent company until two months ago.
Lintec Graphic Films managing director Andy Voss said discussions began in April last year, after he was approached by Lintec, which said it wanted to expand further into Europe. He said both companies had taken "a collaborative approach" to the acquisition.
“We’ve been very successful selling Lintec products in labels and wide-format, and over the years we have become very good partners. Lintec Japan wants to dramatically expand sales across Europe in our existing markets and in some new markets. So it was agreed we would get even closer,” said Voss.
“In the Asian market they are strong but they haven't had such a strong presence in Europe until now.”
Lintec Graphic Films, which is now fully integrated with Lintec Europe, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lintec, will take on a number of its niche products for distribution in Europe, including a new range of label materials for packaging and wide-format coating technology for a number of variable print techniques.
Sales for its labelling films accounts for around 60% of £6m-turnover Lintec Graphic Films' overall sales, with the rest coming from wide-format, but Voss said that the wide-format side is rapidly growing and that the acquisition would allow it to further enhance this with wide-format R&D investment.
He said the 18-staff company would be looking to take on new staff, expand its lab facilities and open sales offices across Europe in a bid for expansion in the near future.
“Variable digital and wide-format printing is a rapidly growing marketplace for us so we are putting more development into new coatings that are fairly unique and offer certain performance advantages,” added Voss.
“We don’t come at things only from a cost perspective, we are looking at high quality, niche, high durability and optical clarity.”
Headquartered in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Lintec Graphic Films distributes a range of products, including optically-cleared printable window graphic materials, wallpaper materials, polyester self-wetting graphics and industrial adhesive tapes.