Blaze Signs will join Kesslers and Gardners as part of Hexcite Group
The Hexcite Group provides design, communication, brand activation, display and merchandising products & services for major brand owners and retailers.
Hexcite Group, a provider of design, communication, brand activation, display and merchandising products & services for major brand owners and retailers, is delighted to announce it has acquired one of the UK’s leading signage businesses, Blaze Signs Holdings Ltd (“Blaze”).
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.
The acquisition includes Blaze’s trading subsidiaries Blaze Signs Ltd and Cygnia Maintenance Ltd. Cygnia is the UK’s largest, and leading provider of sign maintenance, sign repairs and image protection services.
In total, Blaze employs 250 people across the UK and made c.£25 million in revenue in 2019. The management team led by Clive Knight, Chris Abbott & Fraser Burns will continue to lead the business following the acquisition. Blaze is being acquired from private equity firm Mobeus.
Blaze will become part of the Hexcite Group which was created by private equity fund Elaghmore in 2019. 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.
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. Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, Kesslers and Gardners have continued to trade throughout the pandemic adapting to the rapidly changing needs of retail customers.
Blaze is the ninth acquisition made by Elaghmore from its £60 million, initial private equity fund, Elaghmore I (Fund 1) which closed at the end of 2016. The investment strategy of the fund is focused on businesses that present a significant opportunity for growth and value creation. Elaghmore has a strong track record over the past decade, investing in and successfully growing companies.
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.”
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.”
Robin Tozer / Tom Carnegie
Tel: + 44 (0)20 3757 6880
Notes to Editors:
Elaghmore was founded in 2012 by David Manning and Andy Ducker. Based in Leamington Spa, the team has a strong track record of investing in and successfully growing UK businesses, largely through operational transformation including Chaucer Foods and St Neots Packaging. In December 2016, Elaghmore launched an initial private equity Elaghmore I (Fund 1) raising £60 million. The investment strategy of Fund 1 is focused on UK-headquartered businesses that present a significant opportunity for growth and value creation.
Gardners is one of Europe’s leading designers and manufacturers of large format visual displays for world-famous brands and leading UK retailers. Based in Cardiff, Gardners was an early pioneer in digital print technology. Today, from its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, Gardners now provides large format graphic solutions to leading brands, retailers and agencies. Gardners offers a full end to end solution, from creative design, through to complex installation. Gardners works with customers across the retail, logistics, construction and leisure sectors.
Kesslers creates merchandising display solutions that improve consumers’ in-store experience, build brand activation and ultimately drive product sales. Founded in 1893, Kesslers’ has over 125 years’ experience in designing and manufacturing outstanding display solutions for many of the world’s most prominent brands. Located in London, its state-of-the-art retail design and manufacturing facilities enable the company to seamlessly manage clients’ merchandising display solutions from start-to-finish, providing one clear route of communication.