Dublin printing group Colorman acquired by Woodberry Capital

Private equity firm buys 62-year-old company with €29m turnover

Irish print and packaging company Colorman has been acquired by private equity group Woodberry Capital for an undisclosed sum.

Woodberry Capital is a Dublin-based, non-institutional private equity firm led by chief executive and founder Patrick Doran, who has long experience in the print and packaging industry.

Colorman was acquired from owners Clare Nixon, Gary Clarke and David Clancy. The company reported turnover of €29.1 million for the year to December 31st, 2019, which was flat on the previous year.

Its latest filed accounts show that it recorded a pre-tax profit of €4.8 million in 2018, up 60 per cent on the previous year.

Its managing director Mark Nixon will continue with the company following this transaction, which is subject to approval from the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission.

Commenting on the deal, Mr Doran said: “Colorman is an exemplar in the print and packaging sector in terms of its people. This acquisition provides multiple opportunities to drive long-term growth and build our future in the packaging industry on a pan-European basis. With the excellent management team and deep industry expertise, Colorman has a strong complementary fit with our commercial portfolio and areas of focus.”

Mr Nixon said Colorman would have a “mandate for growth and development backed by the resources and expertise of Woodberry”.

Colorman was established in 1959 as a silk screen printing company specialising in point of sale and poster hoardings for the advertising market. It expanded into lithographic printing and diversified into supplying the multinational IT sector.

Management buyout

After the death of founder Bob Burke in 2000, Colorman's leadership team undertook a management buyout. The business has since developed a wide customer base in Ireland, the rest of Europe and North America. Located in Broombridge Industrial Park, Colorman operates from a 200,000sq ft campus and employs 160 people.

Woodberry Capital is the private equity arm of Ryhall Ltd, the family office of Mr Doran. Its strategy is to invest in businesses with long-term growth potential that generate between €25 million and €800 million in annual revenues with Ebitda (earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation) levels of between €5 million and €100 million, and net profit margins of 10 per cent-plus.

Mr Doran previously owned Americk Packaging, which had annual turnover of more than €140 million and was sold in 2016 to Spanish packaging group Saica.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times

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