Allen Signs acquires Double Red printing division

By Richard Stuart-Turner, Wednesday 05 August 2015

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Vehicle livery and signmaking specialist Allen Signs has acquired the printing division of photographic agency Double Red, for an undisclosed sum.

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Allen (right with Wright): "a logical step"

Double Red managing director James Wright decided to sell the print side of the business after resolving to focus on its rapidly growing photography division.

Last month the firm's print operations, equipment and two staff - general manager Matt Ryder and machine operator and designer Rob Hodgson - moved into Allen Signs’ premises in North Hykeham, Lincoln.

The division will operate independently within the building under the name Double Red Print.

Allen Signs, which also has an office in Nottingham, now has 14 staff in total following the acquisition.

Allen Signs managing director David Allen said: “Over the years we’ve worked closely with the team at Double Red on a number of projects and have valued their input and expertise.

“When James asked if we were interested in taking over the print side of the business, it was clear to us that it would be a logical step to continue the development and growth of Allen Signs, especially as we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year.”

Allen Signs’ Lincoln factory has recently been extended to incorporate the adjacent building, more than doubling the size from just under 370sqm to 743sqm.

The additional space has made room for a bigger workshop, a dedicated vehicle livery area and three machines that were acquired from Double Red; a Mimaki JV33-260, a Canon iPF8400 and a Canon iPF9400.

These printers have joined existing HP Latex and Mimaki JV33 devices at the firm.

“Having access to Double Red’s wide-format printers has massively boosted the services we are able to offer our clients. We can now do banners up to 2.5m-wide in a single piece,” said Allen.

“And as the Canon’s are higher-end 12-colour printers, it’s getting us into a different marketplace to what we were used to as a sign company.”

The benefits of the acquisition are already being felt. “Double Red had a client that wanted to use them for signage jobs but couldn’t because they didn’t do installation. But now that they’re part of us the client has started to talk to us about their signage work,” said Allen.

“We’ve also seen some of our customers using Double Red for their exhibition work so it’s working well even after this short time.”

Double Red’s print division had a turnover of £200,000 last year, while Allen Signs recorded a £750,000 turnover.

Allen said he is expecting turnover to reach over £1m at the end of the current financial year, following the acquisition.

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