NCM is delighted that our client Elaghmore has made its ninth acquisition from its £60 million, initial private equity fund, Elaghmore I (Fund 1). Elaghmore has acquired one of the UK's leading signage businesses, Blaze Signs Holdings Ltd ("Blaze"). Blaze will become part of the Hexcite Group which was created by Elaghmore in 2019. The Hexcite Group is a provider of design, communication, brand activation, display and merchandising products & services for major brand owners and retailers. Blaze joins Kesslers International in Stratford, East London, and Gardners, in Cardiff, as part of Hexcite. Founded in 1893, Kesslers' designs and manufactures outstanding display solutions for many of the world's most prominent brands, including Primark, L'Oréal and Pernod Ricard. At the same time, Gardners is one of Europe's leading designers and manufacturers of large format visual displays for retailers, including Asda and B&Q.
Michael Rice, Investment Director at Elaghmore and a Director of Hexcite Group, said, "By becoming part of the Hexcite Group, Blaze will add new capabilities that increase the ways we can help our customers as well as growing our network of retailers and brands. One of the things that links Blaze, Gardners and Kesslers is a belief in first-class customer service. All three businesses have demonstrated this focus during this challenging time. They have rapidly adapted their products and services to address the needs of their customers, including developing social distancing solutions. We are delighted to welcome our new colleagues from Blaze and Cygnia to the Elaghmore portfolio and to Hexcite. Together, we look forward to growing our share of the marketplace and would embrace opportunities to add other compatible businesses to the Group.”
The combination of Blaze with Kesslers and Gardners will increase Hexcite Group's annual turnover to c.£60 million with a customer base of more than 100 retailers and brands across the globe. The addition of Blaze will add to the significant cross-selling opportunities for Hexcite and will extend its product and service offering to customers. Based in Broadstairs, Kent, and with a substantial manufacturing and service centre in Birmingham, Blaze designs, manufactures, installs and maintains high-quality signage for well-known brands, including Lloyds Bank, Vision Express, Tescos and Sainsburys. During the pandemic, Blaze has also been providing social distancing and signage solutions for its customers. Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, Kesslers and Gardners have also continued to trade throughout the pandemic adapting to the rapidly changing needs of retail customers.
Clive Knight, CEO of Blaze Signs Holdings said, “We are delighted to be joining forces with the Hexcite Group businesses and are excited about accelerating the growth and development of Blaze by working closely with numerous likeminded colleagues, who understand the vital importance of innovation, quality and first class service for our many retail and brand owning customers.”