Matrix ends 2010 with a bang

More favourable market conditions have provided the small buyout specialist with increased deal flow, including most recently the acquisition of printing services company Automated Systems Group.

UK-based Matrix Private Equity has acquired Automated Systems Group, a provider of printing services, in a £8.5 million (€10 million; $13 million) buyout: the firm’s third deal in a month.

In December the shop added to its portfolio recruitment provider RDL for £9 million and Faversham House Group, a media company, for £4.5 million.

Capital was deployed from the firm’s four venture capital trusts, which combined have £120 million under management and are now approximately 60 percent exhausted.

Driving the increased deal flow has been more favourable tax rates for UK entrepreneurs willing to sell their businesses and a greater acceptance of current market prices for their assets, said Mark Wignall, chief executive officer of Matrix Private Equity in an interview with PEO.  Wignall added greater economic stability and an end to the political uncertainty caused by last summer’s election season have also contributed to small businesses being more open to financial sponsorship.

Matrix’s deal with Automated Systems Group will provide the firm a minority stake in the company, which has annual revenues of approximately £10 million. Since its establishment in 1991, the company has been able to develop a strong market presence in  East Anglia and the Midlands, providing printing and copier services to schools and small businesses in the region.

Guy Blackburn, an investment manager at Matrix who will take a seat on the Automated Systems Group’s board, said the company is “an excellent platform to pursue a ‘buy and build’ strategy in the sector”.

Matrix Private Equity is the venture capital arm of financial services company Matrix Group.