Mersey plastic card manufacturer secures £1.9m investment

Private equity outfit Foresight has backed the buy-in management buyout of St Helen’s-based Company Cards whose products include identity, RFID, membership, gift and loyalty cards. Tony McDonough reports

Foresight
Rob Jones, investment manager at the Foresight Group

 

A Merseyside manufacturer of printed plastic cards is under new management after securing a £1.9m investment from the Foresight Group.

Private equity outfit Foresight has backed the buy-in management buyout of St Helen’s-based Company Cards whose products include identity, RFID, membership, gift and loyalty cards. It employs currently employs 36 people.

New faces

The business was founded in 1996 by husband and wife team Tim and Christina Scott, who will remain involved, along with longstanding operations manager Steve Abbott and commercial manager Hannah Johnson, who becomes a director.

As part of the investment, Foresight has introduced incoming chief executive, Andy Matko, the former managing director of Magicard, a desktop card printer manufacturer, where he oversaw significant growth.

Also joining the business is finance director, Nicola Beamish, who has extensive experience working with SMEs, large corporates and PE-backed businesses and chairman Chris Clegg, a former partner with Endless.

Service levels

Company Cards has established itself as one of the UK’s leading small batch card manufacturers through its responsiveness and service levels, which enables it to fulfil orders of between 250 – 25,000 units to short turnaround times. 

Its main customers are print brokers and print management companies ultimately supplying thousands of SMEs throughout the UK. It also offers print finishing services through its subsidiary, The Finishing Touch, and a direct to consumer offering through its online portal, The Plastic Card Factory.

Founder Tim Scott said: “Company Cards has been our family business for more than 20 years, and the rate of growth since inception is incredible. With Foresight’s investment and support, the doors are open for the company to continue its success as we take a step back over time.”

Investment specialists

The investment into Company Cards is split equally between two of Foresight’s institutional regional funds: Foresight Regional Investment LP Fund and Foresight Nottingham Fund.

This is the 11th investment by the North West fund and previous investment include a £3.45m injection into Liverpool Indian street food chain, Mowgli, which is now opening restaurants across the UK.

Rob Jones, investment manager at Foresight, added: “Company Cards is a successful family business which has posted double-digit revenue growth in each of the last four years.

“Its established market position and recent investment in state-of-the-art equipment leave it well placed to take advantage of numerous future development opportunities.”

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