Arena Group, print and document experts, has acquired Fovia (Innovation) Limited and Copytrend Limited – based in Grantham – for an undisclosed sum as part of its strategy to double the size of the group in five years.
The deal, which extends Wakefield-based Arena’s geographical coverage further south, also cements its position as Toshiba’s largest partner in the UK for supplying and servicing photocopiers and managed print services.
Fovia and Copytrend will continue to trade under their own names and operate from Grantham and Bourne, Lincs under the leadership of the founder of the business, Marcus Wallis.
Advisers to the deal were corporate finance partner at Yorkshire accountants and business advisers, Garbutt & Elliott, Richard Feltham, and corporate lawyer at the Leeds office of Lee & Priestley, Caroline Soulsby. Funding for the acquisition was provided by Yorkshire Bank’s Bradford-based West Yorkshire Financial Solutions Centre (FSC) through its Investing for Growth initiative.
In the last six months Arena has been on a recruitment drive, taking on 11 additional staff. The acquisition takes the group to a total of 146 staff across seven offices which cover Yorkshire, Lancashire and the Midlands.
Arena Group managing director, Adrian Fitzpatrick, says: “Fovia fitted our acquisition strategy perfectly in the core areas of geography, product portfolio and reputation and will provide a springboard for our expansion to the Midlands and later to the South.
“Like Arena, they have a large base of loyal customers and we both work in the markets where we are targeting growth: education, law firms, professional services and corporates. We both help our customers to drive down cost, achieve carbon zero on photocopying and printing and help manage, store and retrieve documents more efficiently.”
Richard Feltham of Garbutt & Elliott says: “This is a great deal for Arena. It extends the geographical footprint of the group and brings in a great business with a strong cultural fit in terms of its approach to top-class customer service. Arena is now actively seeking similar businesses to acquire as part of its continuing growth strategy.”
Established in Yorkshire in 1991, Arena is privately owned and has developed through a mix of organic growth and a series of acquisitions. The founders of the business are still involved. Previous acquisitions extended their services to include electronic document management (EDM) consultancy and IT support.
Arena consistently wins regional and national awards, including a Sunday Times top 100 best small companies to work for; Yorkshire’s best company to work for and winners of the British Chambers national awards for excellence in both customer service and people development.