Xaar completes £9.1M acquisition of Hertfordshire’s FFEI

Alfie Brown

Cambridge inkjet printing technology business Xaar plc has completed the £9.1 million acquisition of FFEI to broaden its capabilities.

Hertfordshire-based FFEI is a leading integrator and manufacturer of industrial digital inkjet systems and digital life science technology.

The addition of Hemel-anchored 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. 

The deal will accelerate Xaar’s existing growth strategy and enable the company to capture additional opportunities in vertically integrated solutions. 

Xaar says the additional capability will enable customers to reduce their development timescales and shorten time to market.

FFEI has a strong reputation in the industry for being highly innovative and for advanced imaging solutions. The core specialisms are in print systems and printbar manufacturing, which have enabled FFEI to establish several joint development projects with world leading organisations in both digital inkjet and life sciences.

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In the year to March 31, FFEI generated revenue of £9.9m with an operating margin of nine per cent.  The company employs over 60 people who will stay with the business. 

The initial cash consideration of £3.7m was paid on completion, which reflects existing FFEI free cash reserves, with an additional £5.4m deferred consideration to be paid out over three years.

While the Xaar board expects the acquisition to be slightly earnings accretive in the first full year of ownership, the acquired expertise and resource will also be utilised for projects that will drive long term profitable growth in Xaar’s core printhead business.

John Mills, CEO of Xaar, said: “Having restructured and stabilised 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.”