MBE acquires AlphaGraphics

Max Goldbart
Monday, October 9, 2017

Mail Boxes Etc (MBE) has acquired AlphaGraphics, the US-headquartered print franchise chain that was formerly owned by Pindar.

The acquisition, worth $61.5m (£46.9m), was completed last Tuesday (3 October) and saw the group expand its business operations in the US, as well as gain a UK print footprint. MBE has around 150 franchised UK outlets offering postal services, shipping and packing, design and print. 

MBE said in a statement that with its two acquisitions this year, AlphaGraphics plus US-headquartered PostNet in April, its global network now encompasses around 2,600 global business service centres, 2,100 of which are outside the US, and it is on track to reach sales of $940m by the end of this year.

AlphaGraphics, which was acquired by US private equity firm Blackstreet Capital from the administrator of Pindar in 2012, is headquartered in Salt Lake City and the majority of its 265 locations are in the US. It offers a wide range of services, including litho, digital and large-format print, plus design, finishing and fulfilment. 

“This step represents a significant milestone in the histories of MBE and AlphaGraphics. It is possible thanks to the hard work of many dedicated people. We are excited about this new chapter in our common entrepreneurial adventure,” said the statement.

The UK's £8.5m-turnover, 100-staff AlphaGraphics North East operation, which trades as AlphaGraphics, has its main production site in Stockton-on-Tees, with a design office and pick and pack unit in Middlesborough and further design and sales offices in Newcastle, Nottingham and Milton Keynes. 

Andrew Dalton, managing director of AlphaGraphics UK, hailed the deal as positive.

"I think it’s a good thing, they are a long-established franchise operation so know what franchisees are about, they invest in new technologies, services, and are successful," he said. 

"There’re always things we can learn from like-minded entrepreneurs.

"I suspect it will be business as usual for both the MBE owners and us at AlphaGraphics with little or no changes in the short term. I cannot think of any downside for AlphaGraphics in the UK."

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