Clearwater advises Multigraphics on £10 million sale to MBI


Multigraphics, the Halifax-based market leader in large format banner printing has been sold in a £10 million deal to a management buy-in led by Gary Lasham, backed by 3i.

Advising the vendors, Matthew and Benedict Clark, were the Manchester office of Clearwater Corporate Finance plc. The Clark’s have grown Multigraphics to be the leading printer of large format pvc banners and large format displays in the UK. Since 1999 turnover has increased from £3 million to over £7 million.

Multigraphics has a blue chip customer base, which includes the leading large retailers who are increasingly using large format displays and banners as a promotional medium. The company differentiates itself from its competitors by its high product quality and short lead times.

The business will be led by Gary Lasham, managing director, who 3i have backed before in this market. 3i backed Lasham in 1998 in the successful buy-in management buy-out (BIMBO) of Print Direct Limited, a direct mail printing businesses. In addition to Benedict Clark staying on as operations director, 3i has further strengthened the management team with the addition of Martin Hargreaves as finance director.

Benedict Clark commented: “Multigraphics is an established player in a growing market, with the additional expertise that Gary and Martin bring we know the business is strongly positioned to pursue the excellent opportunities for growth in this market.”

Philip Nuttall, partner with Clearwater led the deal assisted by deal leader, Brian Millrine.

Philip Nuttall commented: “The Clark’s have achieved impressive growth in recent years. Multigraphics is a highly regarded business with an excellent workforce, which will go from strength to strength. The deal sees Matthew Clark achieve his objective of pursuing new entrepreneurial opportunities whilst Benedict will remain with the business.”

Gary Lasham said: “I am delighted we have concluded the acquisition of Multigraphics plc. The company has come a long way in the last ten years but remains relatively unheard of in the overall UK POS market. I and my team are excited about developing the business into a major player in the UK market by increasing its footprint in the market, developing an exciting and fresh sales and marketing strategy and further significant investment in plant and machinery.”

Andrew Garside, 3i director commented: “By backing Multigraphics, we are creating a much stronger business with the resources to present a compelling offer to companies using point of sale advertising. This is underpinned by a very high quality management team led by Gary Lasham, who has a proven track record in this sector.”

Multigraphics were advised by lawyers Cobbetts in Leeds led by Julian Bond. Tenon advised the vendors on taxation (David Kitson and Nagarag Jayakumar). 3i were advised by the Manchester office of PWC (Heath Snyder) and the Leeds office of Addleshaw Goddard (Yunus Seedat).