Grafenia director Neil Cousins is stepping down from his executive role at the business to set up a new Nettl, and will forgo a six-figure earn-out payment as a result.
Cousins was a co-founder of Image Everything, which was Grafenia’s largest acquisition yet when the PLC acquired the business in a £3m deal two years ago.
Grafenia is in the process of integrating the Image Group operations into its production hub in Trafford Park, with the project due to be completed at the end of this month.
Cousins said the timing felt like a “natural juncture” to step back and take up a new challenge. “I'm confident that I'm leaving Image in good hands. I've enjoyed my time with the group and am excited about the opportunity to be part of Nettl moving forwards,” he said.
He is setting up a new Nettl in Greater Manchester, Nettl of Romiley, and will also act as a consultant to the group for a minimum of 12 months. He will forgo his pro rata share of the remaining £550,000 deferred consideration relating to the sale, which is £220,000.
Grafenia chief executive Peter Gunning said: “It's been a pleasure working with Neil over the past few years. We appreciate all the efforts he's made in developing our sign range. We're really pleased that the next chapter of his story will include Nettl and look forward to popping the cork at the launch of Nettl of Romiley.”
David Brunt, one of the co-vendors, remains in place as the managing director of Image Group.
Gunning said that the firm’s new eight-colour Komori press had been in full production for a number of months, and that the integration at the site was proceeding according to plan.
“The new mezzanines went in last week, including the one we’ve built over prepress,” he added.
The business is set to upgrade its CTP system as part of the project. Grafenia raised around £1.1m in March to fund further expansion, and some of the capital is being used to fund the building work.
In April it signed up its first Nettl partner in the USA, and now has eight stores there.
The group had sales of £14.63m last year, and is due to release its results for the year ending 31 March 2019 soon.