First Graphics has announced its acquisition by Antalis South Africa with the contract being signed on 1 July.
Under the terms of the agreement, Antalis South Africa, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Antalis Europe, has acquired 100% of the share equity of First Graphics, a privately-owned company. Antalis is the largest European group in the distribution of communications support materials and is currently active in 36 countries. It is also the largest paper distributor in South Africa and is the holding company of First Paper and Haddons. First Graphics is a leading supplier of high-end graphic communications equipment and consumables.
Says Campbell Smillie, chairman and managing director of First Graphics, "I am very pleased to confirm that the acquisition agreement has been signed with Antalis, creating a joint company uniquely placed in the South African market to offer the complete range of customer needs. We are very confident that both paper and graphic product sales will be increased as a result."
Keith Solomon, First Graphics; Dave Haldane, Antalis; and Campbell Smillie, First Graphics
With the agreement now concluded, full integration plans can begin and it is expected that the First Graphics Johannesburg branch will re-locate to the Antalis New Centre head office around the end of this year, with the Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth offices integrating during the coming months.
The rationale behind this merger was a recognition by both companies that their market presence would be strengthened by combining their product ranges to provide a comprehensive offering to their customer base which is totally compatible.
The new organisation will offer its valued customers the best possible range of paper and graphics products, giving it a unique position in the South African market. The company philosophy will continue to strive for maximum customer satisfaction with a totally motivated and committed employee force.
Smillie adds, "I will remain full-time with First Graphics until the end of September when a consultancy arrangement will be agreed for my future involvement as necessary. Keith Solomon and Willie Swartz, both shareholders and directors of First Graphics, will remain with the company under its new ownership to ensure a smooth transition, as well as complete continuity for staff and customers."