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Norprint takeover strengthens

April 7, 2006

Norprint Labelling Systems of Boston in Lincolnshire, was among those featured in L&NW’s Companies to Watch feature in the October 2005 issue. Things have moved along since then. The UK company is still worth watching, but it is now owned by near-neighbor Magnadata International Ltd. As mentioned in the feature, Norprint has more than 150 years of experience and is one of Europe’s largest independent labeling systems companies. It has always been an innovative company, especially in developing specialized security labeling products, many of which incorporate either a magnetic coating application or RFID technology. Magnadata says the firm will continue to trade under the Norprint name from its Boston facilities, but with a new logo.
Although widely known throughout Europe and beyond, Norprint had mixed fortunes throughout much of the 1990s. The owners, a building supplies group, finally sold the company in 1998 to a management team led by Alex Evans, managing director. Turnover is now around £18.8 million ($32.95 million) from supplying all types of labels, tags and tickets, labeling software, and services to more than 2,500 companies throughout the UK and Europe. Not surprisingly, its security division became a prime target for expansion-minded Magnadata, particularly as group managing director, Roy Colclough, was a former Norprint employee. Besides manufacturing facilities in Boston, it has a plant in Sydney, Australia. There are sales offices located in France and Spain, and Magnadata USA Inc. is based in Lakewood, NJ. Magnadata’s group turnover is £13.2 million ($24.14 million) with 193 employees.
“The acquisition of Norprint creates a stronger business. The wider product diversity will enhance our ability to grow and develop into exciting new markets,” said Colclough. “From a personal point of view and the view of my board colleagues, the opportunity to bring together the knowledge, skills and expertise of all the Magnadata and Norprint employees was simply irresistible. I strongly believe the real value in any company depends on the quality of its workforce and there is no question that this enlarged group has some of the best people in the business. Everyone connected with the company at our sites in the USA, Australia, France, and the UK is looking forward to building a strong future together.”
In its aim to become among the leaders in RFID tag and label technology, Magnadata recently spent £1.5 million ($2.62 million) in R&D and installing a new production line. It works with Thales in France and Philips in the Netherlands. Last year Magnadata gained a large contract to supply limited-use smart cards in Oslo. Other large volume customers in the transit, logistics and leisure sectors include the London Underground, New York Metro, Sydney Rail Authority, Royal Mail, TNT, Manchester City Football Club, and the Ryder Cup organization.
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