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Leeds-based digital and print agency completes management buyout


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Leeds-based Imageco Visual Imaging Limited has completed a management buyout for an undisclosed sum.

The shareholdings of Steve Johnson and Brian Plows have been purchased by a new company, Imageco Holdings Limited, owned jointly by directors Simon Harrison and Nathan Bullough.

Imageco was established in 2000 and has developed an extensive portfolio of major clients in the retail and exhibition sectors. Imageco provides wide format print and a complete design and installation service including branding, 3D concepts, project management, site surveys and all aspects of printing.

Speaking about the buyout, Simon Harrison said:

"Over the past 15 years, our team has built an excellent reputation in the industry which has helped Imageco establish itself as an innovative choice for clients across all sectors who want creative and fresh design solutions. Nathan and I are delighted to have completed the buyout from Brian and Steve and look forward to taking Imageco to the next level in terms of client delivery and creative thinking."

The management team was advised by Daniel McCormack, a director in the Leeds corporate finance team at Lupton Fawcett, who commented:

"We are really pleased to have helped Simon and Nathan complete the takeover of Imageco.  They've shown true entrepreneurial spirit to raise the required funds to make it happen, helped by our team’s experience of facilitating this type of deal. The quality of their clients speaks for itself.  Imageco is a forward thinking company which is well placed to go from strength to strength."

Overseeing the deal was Richard Hayter of Rawlinsons, Chartered Accountants. Richard commented:

“This management buy-out was always foreseen as the preferred exit strategy for Brian and Steve, who demonstrated a clarity of purpose in involving Simon and Nathan, as well as their colleagues, in the management of the business on set up and throughout Imageco’s development over the years. We are delighted to have been instrumental in enabling all parties to achieve their respective ambitions and look forward to advising Simon and Nathan as they build on Brian and Steve’s legacy.

Funding for the deal was provided by Leumi ABL Limited John Walsh commented:

“Leumi ABL are delighted to assist in the funding the MBO of Imageco Visual, from the first meeting it was evident that there is a clear vision to build on the strong reputation of the business and we look forward to working with them to realise its full potential.”

Pictured at Imageco, Leeds, are from the left, Nathan Swinson-Bullough (Imageco), Jo Pearson (Rawlinsons), Richard Hayter (Rawlinsons), Dan McCormack (Lupton Fawcett) and Simon Harrison (Imageco).

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