Private equity fund Elaghmore - owner of Gardners, Kesslers and SFD - has brought the companies together under the umbrella of the newly launched Hexcite Group to create a world-leading provider of bespoke immersive experiences for brands and retailers.
The combined group employs more than 300 people around the world and has an annual turnover of over £60m, with a customer-base of more than 100 brands and retailers.
Under the Hexite banner Gardners, Kesslers, and SFD are tasked with providing “an unprecedented breadth of products and services” by working alongside Hexcite’s in-house design agency, Create.
Through custom-built facilities in London, Melton Mowbray and Cardiff, Hexcite aims to provide full turnkey manufacturing, supported by global sales and procurement teams based in the UK, France, Poland, China and Australia.
CEO, Matthew Frost - who joined in June 2019 and has international retail experience from senior management roles at Asda, Waitrose and Fine Fare Foods in Dubai - will lead the Hexcite Group. He will work closely with the management and staff of the three companies to create a truly integrated team and seamless customer proposition.
Bringing the businesses together into the Hexcite Group is part of Elaghmore’s plan to generate growth and increase the value of the three businesses. Elaghmore acquired Kesslers in 2017, and Gardners and SFD in 2019. Each business has benefited from the operational expertise of the Elaghmore team as well as financial support. The businesses were acquired by Elaghmore using its £60m initial private equity fund, Elaghmore I (Fund 1) which closed at the end of 2016. The fund has made eight acquisitions so far. Its investment strategy is focused on businesses that present a significant opportunity for growth and value creation.
Earlier this year, Elaghmore launched the Total Vehicle Solutions (TVS) Group. The TVS Group delivers solutions for the commercial and industrial vehicle industry, by bringing together three of the UK’s leading specialist manufacturing firms. The Elaghmore-owned businesses are SB Components, Priden Engineering, and McPhee Mixers.
Andy Ducker, Founding Partner, Elaghmore, said: “The launch of Hexcite is another exciting moment for Elaghmore. Following the successful acquisition of Kesslers, we were looking for high-quality businesses that could complement it, to build a world-leading provider of bespoke immersive experiences for brands and retailers. We believe there is a significant growth opportunity for Hexcite as the retail market continues to evolve. There is a growing demand from brands to create more immersive shopping experiences to increase customer loyalty. Hexcite offers customers a ‘one stop’ shop including design, manufacturing and delivery. The Group has the scale and capability to deliver market-leading work for brands and retailers around the world. We look forward to working closely with Matthew and his team as the business grows.”
Frost, CEO, Hexcite Group, added: “The creation of Hexcite represents the most exciting and ambitious coming together of companies operating in the retail design and print industry in the past ten years. Hexcite creates an exciting proposition for the retail industry, which in many cases has been struggling to adapt to the changing market landscape. The bringing together of Gardners, Kesslers, and SFD into the Hexcite Group means we can create bespoke customer-led experiences for retailers and brands from start to finish. We can handle all stages of the process from concept to manufacture to delivery, from digital print through to hand-finished design. “The ambition of Hexcite is to further develop our proposition by making full use of technology as well as anonymous data capture at the shelf edge. This can be used to drive customer conversion, increase transactional value and improve consumer insight. We will evolve our business to support this, and to meet the constantly changing needs of customers.”