Global seeks meteoric rise with latest acquisition

Print software developer Global Graphics has acquired its partner and printhead driver system specialist TTP Meteor.

The deal completed yesterday (5 December) between Global and TTP Meteor’s parent company TTP Group. Royston, Hertfordshire-based TTP Meteor is now in the process of officially changing its name on Companies House and its branding to Meteor Inkjet Limited.

The acquisition of the 17-staff company is worth a cash sum of £1.2m followed by a maximum deferred consideration of £3.6m, payable in cash and dependent on the company's sales performance over a 10-year period from 6 December 2016 to 31 December 2026.

Global Graphics chief executive Gary Fry said: “TTP Meteor is a partner we work very closely with on a number of different joint opportunities. It became apparent during those opportunities that the synergy of the two companies was extremely high. We were talking to the same customer base, we both sell to OEM, and as we were thinking about it, it turned out that TTP Group was looking at selling so the timing was perfect.” 

TTP Group’s strategy is to build up its companies' technological offering before selling them on when they have become product-led organisations. It had developed Meteor’s sales mandate just as Global Graphics was looking to invest.

“We’re acquisitive by nature but only when it makes strong synergistic sense, so we’re always looking for companies that we can bring under the Global Graphics umbrella when it makes sense to our strategy,” added Fry.

Fry cited three main reasons for the acquisition: Global can invest in Meteor to enable it to continue the growth path that saw it record sales of £2.5m last year, Global can provide joint customers of the two businesses with a better value offering and it will bring with it new costing opportunities.

Formed by TTP Group in 2006, Meteor’s core business is delivering driver electronics and software for printheads. Fry said it has an “enviable portfolio of turnkey drive electronics that allow a print manufacturer to get a press running extremely quickly.”

Meteor managing director Clive Ayling said Global Graphics clearly values Meteor’s success and “recognises the importance of our independence in delivering the diverse range of solutions our customers require.”

The acquisition is Global’s third in the last two years. In March 2015, it acquired a US-based partner, the Rip reseller RTI, and in September of the same year it acquired German-based font developer URW Design & Development.

The Harlequin Rip developer will focus on bedding Meteor in over the next six months and doesn’t plan on making any more acquisitions in the immediate future. 

Founded in Cambridge, where it has its current headquarters, Global Graphics serves clients worldwide and has offices in Boston and Tokyo. 

In its most recent Q3 results, Global Graphics recorded sales of €12.6m (£10.6m) for the year to 30 September 2016, a €1.2m (£1m) boost on last year’s figure at the same stage. In 2015, it turned over £13.7m. Including the newly-acquired Meteor staff, it now employs around 120 people.

In September, Global took on former Xaar account manager Jeremy Spencer in the newly-created role of print sales vice-president.


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