Grafenia acquires Artichoke Design


Grafenia has acquired design agency Artichoke Design, which trades as Nettl of Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham.

Artichoke has been a successful brand partner for the group for more than 15 years, first as a printing.com bolt-on franchise and latterly as a Nettl partner. The business was founded and operated by brothers Richard Morris, who will remain with the business, and David Morris, who is leaving to pursue new opportunities.

The acquisition was completed yesterday (25 March) and, with Artichoke’s existing location about to reach the end of its lease, the business is expected to relocate over the coming week. It will be rolled into the Nettl of Birmingham Business Store, which is based a few streets away.

“This moves us strategically forward by a small step. It takes out all of the overheads of Artichoke apart from Richard,” said Grafenia chief executive Peter Gunning.

“These bigger units can support more teams, service more clients from bigger locations and save on rent and rates and other occupational costs.”

He added: “With the support of a larger team behind him, we look forward to making the most of Richard’s tenacity and sales skills to grow our Nettl of Birmingham Business Store.

“The Artichoke brand will gradually disappear, but Richard’s clients should already know him as Nettl and be familiar with the Nettl brand.”

Richard Morris added: “I was excited by Nettl’s plans and wanted to be a part of making that happen. With the lease ending on our premises, it made sense to combine our businesses and move round the corner.”

In the year ended 31 March 2018, Artichoke’s unaudited turnover was approximately £180,000 generating an operating profit of approximately £40,000.

Given the size of the Artichoke business, the acquisition is not considered a material transaction for Grafenia.

Yesterday Grafenia revealed that it has raised around £1.1m before expenses via a share subscription, which will be used to further expand the group.

It has recently invested in its Manchester printing hub. Two B1 presses at the site have already been moved out, with a third due to leave in the next fortnight, and have been replaced with one new high-spec Komori Lithrone GL840P H-UV eight-colour perfector.

Grafenia has 180 staff and a turnover of around £15m. The company’s share price was down by 4% to 12p at the time of writing.

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