Reflex Group in double acquisition and £10m equipment spend

By Richard Stuart-Turner, Thursday 01 October 2015

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Reflex Group has continued to expand after acquiring two businesses, Progressive-ID and Century Art, for an undisclosed sum.

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The Reflex Group has acquired two separate companies in recent weeks

The Mansfield, Nottinghamshire-headquartered packaging company completed the Progressive-ID acquisition earlier this month after acquiring Century Art in August.

Progressive-ID, which is based in Paddock Wood, Kent, provides labeling and automatic identification products for the food and fresh produce sector using its Dataguard software, while Ilkeston, Derbyshire-based Century Art is a polythene bag and plastic packaging manufacturer.

Reflex Group said it is pursuing a strategy of extending its recent rapid organic growth with these bolt-on acquisitions.

Reflex Group managing director Ian Kendall said: “We’ve got quite an eclectic mix of services but they all join up and these acquisitions expand our shop window a bit more.

“We’ve known the team at Progressive-ID for many years and have always had the utmost respect for them as a competitor.

“We already have a systems division that does variable data but Progressive-ID have got their own software so that enables us to add another string to our bow in-house that we didn’t have before.”

Progressive-ID managing director Stephen McCombe added: “We felt the time was right to take the business to a new level and we can do that better within Reflex. The opportunities within the larger group are tremendous, both for the business and for the team here.”

Kendall said the two acquired businesses will be kept as separate entities for the immediate future but will be integrated into the Reflex Group brand “when the time is right”.

The two firms have added around £7m turnover to Reflex Group, around £4.2m of which is from Progressive-ID and £2.8m of which is from Century Art, taking the group’s turnover to around £70m.

30 staff have also been taken on as a result of the acquisitions, taking Reflex’s total headcount to more than 420.

Kendall said further acquisitions are planned in the coming months.

Reflex Group has also invested £10m over the past few months on eight Mark Andy presses, which will have all been installed by the end of this week, as well as AVT and Kodak machinery.

The group, which has sites in Mansfield, Leicester, Barwell, Telford, Boston, Newcastle, Barnsley and Castleford, has seen continued growth of around 30% a year.

Its other acquisitions include Superior Labels in 2009, Labelsco in 2012 and Tag Products in 2014.

The group’s activities range from design, artwork and reprographics through to self-adhesive labels, shrink sleeves and flexible packaging. Its systems division sells thermal printers, consumers and label application equipment.

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