Based at a leased 16,000sqm site in Cardiff, 106-staff Gardners designs and manufactures large-format visual displays for major brands, UK retailers and agencies.
Elaghmore bought Gardners from the company’s management, who will remain with the business along with all of its staff, and the acquisition was completed on Friday (31 May).
Elaghmore will provide financial backing to support the growth plans of Gardners, including significant investment in new technology to enhance its production capacity.
Gardners, which currently turns over around £12m, will continue to operate autonomously, but will work closely with another Elaghmore business, Kesslers, which was acquired in September 2017 and designs and manufactures digital and physical in-store displays.
The combination of the Gardners and Kesslers businesses will employ more than 250 people with annual sales of £40m and the two companies will collaborate to provide customers with a comprehensive suite of integrated internal and external displays.
Gardners directors Richard Courtney and James Morris will continue to oversee the day-to-day running of the business.
Courtney told PrintWeek: “We’ve had a great six years with Cable Capital, who were our private equity partners, but they were looking to exit and we were seeking further investment and looking to target growth in the market. We strategically discussed with Cable that we would look for further investment and through our advisors we were put in touch with Elaghmore.
“We fully expect to collaborate with Kesslers in the first instance. We’ve both got clients that we think could benefit both ways, which was part of the attraction.
“While we are certainly not identical, Kesslers are very complementary to us and we’re looking to develop a strong marketing services brand for the UK market.
Gardners is the sixth acquisition made by Elaghmore from its £60m, initial private equity fund, Elaghmore I (Fund 1), which closed at the end of 2016. The investment strategy of the fund is focused on businesses that present a significant opportunity for growth and value creation.
Elaghmore partner Greg Koral said: “Gardners is a very exciting business which serves an impressive blue-chip customer base.
“The opportunity for Gardners to collaborate closely with Kesslers brings a new and exciting dimension to our plan to create a world-leading provider of integrated digital and physical display solutions.”
In 2017 Gardners invested just under £1m in new kit, including a Durst Rho 1330 flatbed press and an HP Latex 3500 roll-to-roll printer. The company also operates a raft of other kit from HP, Durst and EFI.