10th June 2014

Orbis has advised and invested in the Management Buy-Out of Macro Art, a specialist wide-format digital printing business. Funding to support the MBO was provided by YFM Equity Partners which has invested £2.1m as part of a £3.9m financing package of investment and working capital facilities.

Macro Art is a specialist wide-format digital printer which has printed building wraps for Selfridges and Harrods London stores and holds the Guinness World Record for the largest printed movie poster.

Headquartered near St Neots, Cambridgeshire, Macro Art reported a £6.7m turnover, and is forecasting an increase of almost 8% in the current financial year. The company has more than doubled its staff to 70 people since it moved to a 41,000 square foot purpose-built facility in 2005. It invested in specialist UV and dye sublimation print technology which has helped it grow into new and more profitable markets including exhibitions and high-end retail.

The business was originally set up by husband and wife team, John and Gretchen Walker in 1992 and has grown significantly over the last five years, notwithstanding the credit crisis. Over the last few years a new management team has been recruited to grow and develop the business further.

John Walker suffered ill health in 2012 and sadly passed away last year. Gretchen Walker has continued to run Macro Art but has now decided that the time is right to hand over the reins to the management team. The MBO is being led by Managing Director James Jennings, Commercial Director Michael Green and Sales Director Matt Guise who will continue to run the business and implement a further investment and growth strategy.

New investors and non-executive (NED) management includes: David Sadler as Chairman, formerly CEO and major shareholder of Aardvark Limited now part of the Penman Group; Nigel Luckett, currently NED at Pressure Technologies, (another YFM Equity Partners portfolio company) as NED finance and Chris Gregory, founder of Corporate Finance Advisors Orbis Partners as NED.

Commenting, James Jennings, Managing Director said: “This MBO and planned capital investment will enable our business to capitalise on the positive economic outlook, expand into new areas and increase efficiency. We will invest in new equipment and employ more people to support our client’s ambitious printing demands.”

Chris Gregory, founder of Birmingham’s Orbis Partners added: “We worked with the team at Macro Art to find the most suitable investor and deal structure to ensure a strong platform for the business. The additional investment and support both from us and an experienced non-executive team will ensure that Macro Art can continue to lead in dye sublimation and other specialist large format printing solutions for clients.”

Mary Broadhead, Investment Director at YFM Equity Partners, who led the deal said: “We are delighted to support James and the team as they prepare to capitalise on the increased marketing spend of companies and organisations throughout the UK and Europe and invest in the latest high-tech printing equipment to support their growth plans.”

The legal advisor for the vendor was Martin Jinks at Roythornes in Peterborough. For the management team, legal advice was provided by Andrew Stilton of Keystone Law in the Midlands. YFM Equity Partners advisors’ were Irwin Mitchell (legal) and WK Corporate Finance (financial due diligence).

For further information contact:

Chris Gregory, Partner
+44 (0) 121 234 6072 / cgregory@orbiscf.com

Steve Nock, Executive
+44 (0) 121 234 6083 / snock@orbiscf.com

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