Reflex: adding EU ops is 'hugely advantageous'

Jo Francis
Friday, January 7, 2022

Reflex Group CEO Ian Kendall has described its latest acquisition as  the group’s “most complex” buy yet.

Kendall: Reflex plans to invest “heavily” in the acquired operations
Kendall: Reflex plans to invest “heavily” in the acquired operations

Mansfield-headquartered Reflex completed the £6.4m purchase of Macfarlane’s Labels business at the end of last year, with details made public this week. 

“It was quite a long process because of the three jurisdictions – Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, and Sweden – so that meant three lots of solicitors and different advisers,” Kendall explained. 

“It was very complicated but there was goodwill on both sides and we overcame all the obstacles.”

He said the addition of trading entities in the EU was “hugely advantageous”, post-Brexit. 

“We didn’t have problems shipping into the EU, but there were issues shipping into Northern Ireland and Ireland. Although a lot of that has settled down now it helps us massively, even if it’s just a perception. Our customers in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are delighted.”

Kendall said the acquired businesses had sales of around £22m, which would be in addition to Reflex’s current run rate of £140m turnover. 

He said the group planned to invest “heavily” in the acquired operations. 

“Every single label operation that we’ve acquired now employs more people and has grown,” he added. 

As part of the group’s plan to further expand its footprint Reflex is also setting up a greenfield site, mainly for labels, in Poland, in the Gdansk are, involving a team of people who used to work for Reflex in the UK and have returned to Poland. 

He said he hoped the new operation would be up and running in March, with further details to follow as the plans take shape. 

Kendall said that overall demand was stable as the business embarked upon the new year, with the biggest issue currently being material supply and availability, and costs overall up substantially year-on-year. 

He noted that the “flexibility and competitiveness of the supply chain” had helped brands react rapidly to adapt to the materials situation.


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