Hague snaps up iCom Printworks to conclude M&A drive

Rhys Handley
Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Hague Group has bought iCom Printworks, its third M&A deal in six months, as the acquisitive group strengthens its presence among the Cardiff business community.

Wain (centre-right): "iCom has established a reputation for providing outstanding service"
Wain (centre-right): "iCom has established a reputation for providing outstanding service"

The firm, which offers print management to the healthcare and commercial sectors, officially became a Hague subsidiary on 25 March. It brings £3m sales into the group.

Headquartered in Normanton, West Yorkshire, Hague is now at the end of a six-month M&A run that began in October by snapping up print management rival Venture Business Forms, followed in January with Triform.

The deal for iCom marks the conclusion of this M&A period, though it had already begun 2018 with the acquisition of Contrac in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire.

Hague’s group accountant Luke Brook said: “ICom is located two doors down from our own Cardiff office which always meant it could relocate very quickly. There have been conversations about a possible deal since September.

“Our Cardiff office did not really deal with traditional printing, which is something iCom will help us introduce. We have found that businesses in Cardiff like to deal with other businesses in the local area, so we will now have iCom’s standing in the community to enjoy.

“ICom is still a tangible brand, now under our ownership, and we would be daft to throw that away. Now we have carried out three acquisitions in the past six months and grown hugely over the past few years it is time for a period of consolidation from which we can hopefully move forwards.”

Nine members of staff at iCom Printworks transferred to Hague’s nearby Cardiff office at the time of the acquisition, joining Hague’s local team of five staff.

Former owner Dave Baker is no longer involved with the business and said he looked forward to seeing the “next exciting phase of growth” for the company he founded around 30 years ago. General manager Alastair Pemberton will continue to oversee the iCom Printworks business.

Baker will now focus on his other company, Reward Works – an employee benefits and rewards business.

Hague Group, which operates from 10 locations around the UK, is projecting a turnover of £30m for 2019, a figure bolstered by more than £10m in additional sales from its acquisitions.

“I am delighted to welcome iCom into the Hague family,” said Hague director Nathan Wain. “ICom is a company that we have dealt with for over 20 years, and they have established a reputation for providing outstanding service and products to their customers.

“I am looking forward to building on that success.”

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