Xpress Group acquires Calico and invests in Indigo

Richard Stuart-Turner
Thursday, November 10, 2016

Digital and wide-format printer Xpress Group has acquired creative agency Calico, for an undisclosed sum, and purchased a new HP Indigo 7800 digital press.

The Crawley, West Sussex-based business, which produces work for blue-chip clients including Gatwick and Heathrow airports, completed its acquisition of Calico – previously based around 18 miles south in Hurstpierpoint – on 1 November.

Calico’s operations, Konica Minolta digital kit and five staff have moved out of the firm’s leased site in Hurstpierpoint and into Xpress Group’s 557sqm premises to join the 16 staff at the Crawley site.

The acquisition is the first for Xpress Group, which was established in 1991. Calico will bring its turnover of around £500,000 to Xpress Group, which was turning over just more than £2m prior to the acquisition.

Xpress Group managing director Graham Knight said: “We’ve been looking for the right sort of businesses that would fit what we’re doing for around two or three years now.

“Calico were fairly local to us and looking to sell and it seemed to fit pretty well. They’ve got a lot of creative flair and more presence in web design than we do.

“Bringing together the two teams expands our creative studio providing branding, campaign and digital design services, resulting in even more creative experience and enhanced ability to cater for our clients design requirements."

Calico, which specialises in creating and developing SME brands, will continue to operate as normal under its own brand with Calico managing director Alistair Veness continuing to head up his business, overseen by Knight.

At the end of summer Xpress Group also took delivery of a new HP Indigo 7800 digital printer. The 120 A4 ppm machine replaced an Indigo 5500 and joined HP wide-format kit including Latex and Designjet printers.

“The new Indigo is a fantastic machine with better quality and faster turnaround,” said Knight.

“We’ve been using Indigos for some time now and, whilst we did look at some other machines, we’ve got used to Indigo and how they work and our customers like the quality we can offer.

“We managed to make space for the new Indigo though we’d ideally like to have a bigger premises and one of the things we will possibly do next year is look for somewhere that’s a little bit bigger.”

Knight added some of the work currently completed on Calico's Konica Minolta printers will be migrated over to the Indigo 7800.

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