SET Office Supplies Group, one of the leading independent suppliers of office equipment in Wales and the South West, has been acquired by Complete Office Solutions Group for an undisclosed sum.
Complete Office Solutions Group, a Yorkshire-based office supplies firm, operates across the north of England and the Midlands. Acquiring SET fits with its strategy of developing a national footprint and has created the largest independent office supplies business in the UK.
George Amos, the majority shareholder of SET, established the business in 1976 and together with his fellow shareholders, Neil Griffiths, Mandy Jones and Robert Jones, has built it up into a £30m+ turnover business with over 250 employees. Its group companies, SET Office Supplies, W&A Ross, Corporate Safetywear and Martin Luck supply stationery, machinery, promotional goods, work-wear and furniture to firms across the Wales and west region.
Mr Amos said:
“When I decided to seek a buyer to take the business to the next level, I only wanted to talk to organisations with a similar ethos as our customer focus and quality of service is what sets us apart from our larger competitors.
“As a successful independent firm in the north of England, Complete Office Solutions Group is a perfect fit in terms of culture and values. I know that the deal will stand both companies in good stead for the future and that our loyal customers will continue to receive the excellent service they have come to expect from SET.”
Neil Griffiths, Managing Director of SET said:
"I am excited to be working with Richard and the Complete Group to drive the business forward by building on the local, personal service our customers have come to expect and investing in new products, services and technologies to take the company to a new level."
Richard Coulson, Managing Director of Complete Office Solutions Group, said:
“We are proud to have acquired such a successful company with a great reputation in the market. This is a fantastic opportunity for the Complete Office Solutions Group to expand our network into Wales and the South West and to build on the market-leading business that George and his team have created.”
SET’s shareholders were advised on the transaction by Acuity Legal and Gambit Corporate Finance. Gambit, which has provided succession planning advice to the board since 2011, provided strategic and financial advice to the selling shareholders, taking a targeted approach to the market to identify potential purchasers. Alongside this, Acuity Legal supported the shareholders and Gambit with legal advice on the negotiations and on the structure and execution of the transaction.
Geraint Rowe, partner at Gambit, said:
“We have worked with the SET shareholders for a number of years on succession planning and on the optimum timing and process for a sale. Working with our client to compile a buyer pool, identify the correct partner and negotiate the price and terms in a consolidating market has been rewarding, and we look forward to seeing the business flourish under its new ownership.”
Steve Berry, chairman of Acuity Legal, said:
“We are delighted to have been able to support this transaction. Both SET and Complete Office Solutions Group have established enviable reputations in their respective regions, and I am confident that together they will go on to achieve further growth and success.”
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