Print and managed services provider ASL Group has made an acquisition in the north-west of England.
Private equity-backed ASL has bought Warrington-based Sharples Group, effective 3 February, for an undisclosed sum. It is ASL’s sixth acquisition since Primary Capital Partners invested in the firm in June 2019.
ASL said Sharples will add “significant scale” to its operations in its Northwest region, which was established following the acquisition of B&M Digital in 2020.
News of the deal comes shortly after ASL published in annual accounts for the year ended 30 September 2022. Sales for the period grew by 11% year on year to £37.6 million, while underlying EBITDA rose by 56% to £6.3 million.
Despite the improvement – which was in line with expectations – the company said the figures were still “suppressed” by global supply chain issues that caused challenges in the fulfilment of orders. As a result, it has invested in carrying over additional levels of inventory and noted the “strong pipeline of opportunities as customers re-engage on projects that have been delayed or disrupted”.
“The business has continued to provide exceptional levels of customer support and the directors have placed particular focus on cost control, cash generation and customer retention,” ASL stated in its strategic review, adding that revenue and profits had been “higher than historical levels”.
Other highlights from the financial year included a relocation to a new 35,000 sq ft (3,500 sq m) head office facility that provides the capacity to more than double the business, and the acquisition of London-based Gemini Office Solutions last September.
More recently, ASL has negotiated an additional banking facility that it says will support further acquisitions in the current year and beyond.