29 January 2012 Events

Pixart prepares for future with equity backing for expansion

Italy's leading web to print business has brought in outside investors to put management on a professional footing and prepare for the next phase of growth

MATTEO RIGAMONTE, FOUNDER OF ITALIAN web to print business Pixart Printing has sold a majority stake in the business to a in equity house which will prepare the business for an IPO in around five years time. Three quarters of the shares are now in the hands of Alcedo SGR which plans to accelerate the company’s strong growth.

The deal values Pixart at around €23 million. Rigamonti will remain a board member, though will relinquish day to day control. Alexander Tenderini, who had been managing director takes on more responsibility with the remainder of the board comprising representatives of the new backers.

RIGAMONTI SAYS: “I DECIDED TO PURSUE this course as a matter of responsibility. When a company reaches a certain size, it cannot depend on one person for its future, but needs more minds to help, each with experience and know-how for its future growth.” It means a move towards a more corporate management style away from the flamboyance of the individual.

The move comes as Pixart reports a 40% increase in sales in 2011 to €32 million, with €40 million within reach this year and a target of €100 million ahead of the IPO. In order to achieve this the company plans to expand its presence in France, Luxembourg and Switzerland, to expand in Spain and Portugal and to enter the vast by hugely competitive German market.

THE PLANS WILL CALL FOR SUBSTANTIAL investment, possibly including a move from its current premises for at least some of its activities. It also plans to add new services beginning with label printing, having ordered an Epson L-4033 inkjet roll label press.

Pixart struck a partnership deal with Precision Printing in the UK as a way of overcoming concerns about fast delivery among its British customer base. Any immediate orders would be handled from Barking while longer turnaround times would be served from the main factory near Venice.

THE CONTINUING STRONG GROWTH IN THE web to print sector that Pixart is tapping into is confirmed by a 30% growth from Onelineprinters, one of Germany’s specialists in this area. It operates across the continent, delivering to 31 countries including the UK. It has recently doubled its production area to cope with growth and increasing staff levels. At the end of last year it employed 350. It reckons to be dealing with 6,000 new customers a month.

The company operates 15 offset presses, a mix of KBA and Heidelberg, backed by Xerox digital machines and wide format inkjet. Last year it shipped 800,000 orders outside Germany.

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Matteo Rigamonti recognises the value of experienced management support

Matteo Rigamonti recognises the value of experienced management support