Bunzl plc, the international distribution and outsourcing Group, today announced that it has made a binding offer for the acquisition of a group of businesses in France, and has also purchased Pixel Inspiration in the UK (see UK’s Pixel Inspiration Acquired by Bunzl plc) – which we were, as usual, the first to tell the world well about over a week ago, Ed.
Pixel Inspiration is, of course, a very well known award winning digital signage agency and a Scala VAR – as well as providing project based installations for multi-site retailers and financial institutions. Pixel also provides management and consultancy services related to the usage of such installations. Revenue in 2016 was described as GBP 7 million.
Bunzl also acquired: Hedis, which trades through a number of subsidiaries across France, and is engaged in the sale and distribution of cleaning & hygiene related products to a variety of end user customers, principally in the public, healthcare, foodservice and cleaning sectors, as well as to some redistributors and two other businesses, Comptoir de Bretagne and Générale Collectivités, who distribute light catering equipment and tableware to a fragmented customer base in France.
In 2016 the aggregate revenue for the businesses to be acquired, which trade at above the Continental Europe business area average operating margin, was €155 million, of which €131 million related to Hedis and €24 million related to Comptoir de Bretagne and Générale Collectivités. If acquired, Bunzl expects to realise a number of synergies, principally from purchasing savings.
Commenting on these developments, Frank van Zanten, Chief Executive of Bunzl plc, was quoted as saying “The proposed purchase of Hedis, Comptoir de Bretagne and Générale Collectivités is an important acquisition for Bunzl as together they will further expand our existing cleaning & hygiene operations in France and extend our business there into the catering equipment sector for the first time. I am absolutely delighted that we have the opportunity for both groups to work together as we look to grow and develop in the large and fragmented French market.
“The acquisition of Pixel Inspiration represents a strategic development for our marketing services business in the UK by extending our existing marketing fulfilment proposition into digital signage, which is a market that is expected to grow significantly over the coming years.
“I am pleased that the level of acquisition activity has picked up in 2017. So far this year Bunzl has acquired, or agreed in principle to acquire, 10 businesses for a total committed spend of approximately £530 million.”
The acceptance of the various French offer is subject to the completion of a consultation process with the relevant works councils of the target companies which is expected to be initiated shortly. Subject thereto, it is anticipated that the final sale and purchase documentation would be entered into and completion of the acquisition would take place towards the end of the year, subject to the approval of the transaction by the French competition authorities.