MBI deal secures glossy future for leading printing inks firm

One of the UK’s leading manufacturers of specialist printing inks, sealers and varnishes, Normanton-based Gardiner Colours, has been acquired from its founder in a family deal.

James Gardiner, the son of founder Ray Gardiner, has acquired 100% of the business for an undisclosed six-figure sum, returning to the firm after five years working as an independent sales consultant in the print sector.
The multi-million pound turnover business is based at a 22,000sq ft manufacturing facility on Normanton Industrial Estate, and manufactures inks, sealers, varnishes and consumables used by printers and packaging companies across the UK and Europe. It has a 15-strong workforce.

Established in 1981, the business has survived the recent turmoil in the print sector by focusing on producing high quality specialist products. The acquisition will be matched by further investment to fuel an international expansion plan.

The products Gardiner Colours manufactures are delivered to the printing industry and used by publishers and corporates, including the banking sector, to produce millions of magazines, brochures and marketing materials.
The company’s technical expertise extends to developing products to maximize performance of the latest high speed printing presses. Within its product portfolio, alongside a catalogue of colours, it also designs and mixes bespoke colours, supplying batch consistency on a rapid turnaround when needed.

“The business started in the eighties, and, despite tough times in the sector in the last ten years, the quality of the products the firm has developed has allowed us to own a niche in the UK and European print sector,” said James Gardiner.

“Some of the biggest printers in the industry have come to favour our products because of the consistent nature of their quality and technical performance, and that has been our specialism for the last 20 years or so.
“I started my career in the business almost 20 years ago and came back into the firm as a consultant in 2013 to help grow sales and rationalize some of the business processes having learned a great deal about the wider sector while working as an independent consultant. I recognize the opportunity we now have to expand our sales and product lines, both in the UK and also overseas. We are already represented in over a dozen countries from Europe to the US and Australia and we see huge potential for further growth.”

The deal will also see a six-figure investment into new manufacturing capacity and technology, as well as working capital to allow for rapid expansion of the business over the coming years.

James Gardiner concludes: “We have a really solid foundation from which to build following the deal and investment. This, together with a great reputation for innovation in printing inks, sealers and varnishes and a highly skilled team of expert technicians, puts us in a strong position – we are excited about investing and taking our brand to new markets and customers at home and abroad.”

The company is currently negotiating new joint ventures in several overseas markets and expects to finalise deals in the New Year.