Manchester-based Astra Signs has merged with local digital signage company ADXBA to become a ‘northern powerhouse’ delivering both traditional and digital signage solutions.
The companies will ultimately operate under one brand, whilst maintaining their existing identities and premises for the foreseeable future.
Astra Signs - which supplies signage across the UK and Europe for clients such as Arnold Clark, Manchester Metrolink, Skechers and Bruntwood - prides itself on its in-house design and manufacturing capabilities and employs a multi-disciplined team, many of whom have been at the company for more than 20 years.
ADXBA provides digital signage solutions to DOOH advertisers, transports hubs, and stadia. The company’s turnkey service covers the entire AV integration process, providing bespoke solutions as well as 24/7 monitoring and maintenance. Following a diversification programme, ADXBA has enjoyed a period of unprecedented growth in the last 18 months, recent noteworthy projects including work with BT for its Street Hubs and with Manchester Airport on its £1bn transformation of Terminal 2.
The new combined business will retain all current staff and be led by ADXBA’s managing director, Jim Kerr, while Astra Signs MD David Derbyshire will take time out to travel and explore other interests. Astra Signs will retain the family business legacy through his brother, Joe, who will continue in his role as operations director, as well as his son and nephew who work at the company. David will also retain close links with the signage industry through his involvement with the International Sign Association UK and British Standards.
Reflecting on the four-decade history of Astra Signs, David Derbyshire said: “We’ve had opportunities like this before, but we’ve never found the right fit, so I’m very pleased that Jim is able to push this forward. Merging with ADXBA will provide Astra Signs with a national footprint, digital signage expertise and a strong technology base - giving the business a unique position in the industry. I am certain that the two businesses will do great things together.”
Kerr added: “We worked with Astra Signs on the Manchester Airport transformation project and I was struck by their attention to detail and quality of their products. As well as benefiting from each other’s skills and services, this move will allow both companies to increase efficiencies through scale and to add real value to our combined customer base whilst innovating through technology. We’re all very excited for our future as a combined business and we’d like to thank David for his commitment to Astra Signs for the past 40 years.”