Xaar acquires leading print system integrator FFEI

Inkjet technology pioneer buys integrator and manufacturer

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John Mills, CEO of Xaar Photo Xaar
John Mills, CEO of Xaar Photo Xaar

Cambridge, 12 July 2021, Xaar has completed the acquisition of print systems and printbar specialist FFEI Limited. The deal will accelerate the company’s existing growth strategy and will enable Xaar to capture additional opportunities in vertically integrated solutions.

FFEI is a leading integrator and manufacturer of industrial digital inkjet systems and digital life science technology with many years of experience in managing technical integration and engineering projects. Its highly innovative and advanced imaging solutions and printbar manufacturing have enabled the business to establish several joint ventures with world leading organisations in both digital inkjet and life sciences.

The addition of FFEI strengthens Xaar’s capabilities and skills and will help to provide a more comprehensive solution for its growing number of OEM and UDI (User Developer Integrator) customers.

Based in Hemel Hempstead, UK, CEO Andy Cook and CFO Julian Payne will remain in their current roles and report to Xaar’s CEO John Mills. Bob Wilson, FFEI’s CTO, will join Xaar in a senior position within the printhead business, where he will focus on delivering technologies for the company’s UDI customers.

John Mills said, “Having restructured and stabilized our core printhead business, the acquisition of FFEI will accelerate our strategy and expand our customer offering in a range of markets. As well as providing a number of ready-made solutions, the acquisition will further enhance Xaar’s world class expertise.

I’ve personally known the FFEI team for many years and have long admired their capabilities having previously worked closely with them. We are very excited to welcome them to Xaar and look forward to integrating the business as we continue to deliver on our strategy.”

Andy Cook commented, “We are delighted to become part of Xaar which represents a fantastic opportunity for the business to develop and grow. Xaar has been a long-term market leader with great technology and great people and is a perfect fit for the business.”

FFEI employs over 60 people and in the year to 31 March 2021 generated revenue of £9.9 million. The initial cash consideration of £3.7 million was paid on completion, which reflects existing FFEI free cash reserves, with an additional £5.4 million deferred consideration to be paid out over three years. The Board expects the acquired expertise and resource to be utilised for projects that will drive long term profitable growth in Xaar’s core printhead business.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

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