Abbey Marketing Communications and Smart Technology Cards (STC) have collaborated in order to acquire plastic card manufacturer Brydian Cards and create a “complete package” in plastic card production.
Essex-based Abbey specialises in quick-turnaround personalisation projects for mailing, while Kent-based STC produces high-volume runs for instore gift and loyalty cards. Both companies have bought their base cards from Brydian in Dorset in the past, which led to the germ of an idea resulting in the joint venture.
Using a jointly created entity registered as Brydian Smart Cards Ltd, Abbey and STC acquired £2m-turnover Brydian for an undisclosed sum at the end of last week.
It will continue to trade simply as Brydian Cards, with “business as usual” promised by Abbey managing director Paul Brett.
He said: “Both ourselves and STC needed to be able to continue to compete in this market, as our suppliers begin to move more into what we do. By jointly buying Brydian, we will make the winning of work much easier and will give us strength in unity.
“With Brydian’s capabilities and facilities, the three of us will become a complete package that can do business on the same basis as other entities within the market.
“Our plans are to fully utilise this additional capacity and combine it with our sales power at Abbey and STC. It will increase our turnaround speed and capacity, so the immediate future is about getting the work in and increasing turnover to get our return on investment.”
Staffing and management at Brydian will stay the same, as all 12 members of the firm’s team will remain at the 742sqm facility.
Brydian’s capabilities had recently been enhanced with the installation of a new production line from Bürkle comprising a TL 1500 tape layer, a CGM 400 compact gathering machine, a Smartlam CHK100/200S laminator and a KS 104 card punch in 2017.
This followed an £800,000 investment in 2015 into a Genius 52UV anilox press that doubled the firm’s output to 100 million cards a year.
Abbey Marketing Communications provides full direct mail processing, plastic card processing and digital print to a host of UK blue chip companies. It employs 22 members of staff.
STC offers a host of plastic card services, as well as RFID (radio-frequency identification) products and personalisation. It employs 12 members of staff.
Both firms each turn over approximately £2m, with the joint venture aimed at increasing that figure for all three entities involved.