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Pinnacle Document Solutions completes third acquisition in two years

The Cardiff-headquartered company has completed the acquisition of Copier Mate, one of Wales’ largest independent Toshiba dealers

Pinnacle Group

The transaction marks Pinnacle’s third acquisition in less than two years and further strengthens its strategy to become of the largest Managed Print Services providers in South Wales and the South West.

In March 2015, Group Managing Director, Clive Hamilton, completed an MBO of the business he’d worked at for 23 years. Under his leadership, the company recorded its highest ever level of year on year growth in 2016, with turnover rising from £4.5 million to £7 million.

Part of this growth came from Hamilton’s strategy to grow through acquisition. In February 2016, it bought Fast Technology Services and six months later purchased significant assets from IT Provider ComputerWorld in Bristol and wholly integrated that within its operations.

“Today, bigger dealerships buying smaller ones is a trend and achieving growth through acquisition is standard practice,” Group Operations and Marketing Director, Sebastiaan Crebolder, said, adding: “This latest deal has added £1 million to our business.”

The company was established 26 years ago and up until the MBO, it was primarily a hardware-centric organisation. Whilst it did offer a number of document workflow solutions, its core business was within the print hardware arena. Following the MBO, Hamilton chose to align its portfolio with market demands and evolve the business to offer more solutions and software services to complement its range of printers and hardware, associated workflow solutions and managed print services.

The Pinnacle Document Solutions Group now comprises three companies: Pinnacle Office Equipment, which was one of the first mono branded Xerox Concessionaires in the UK and offers the OEM’s full range from small desktop printers, to MFPs and digital colour production presses. The company is a Gold Partner Concessionaire, as well as a Xerox accredited Advanced Managed Print Services and Production Specialist. Fast Technology Services, a business that specialises in IT printer hardware and related technologies whose offer includes specialised print such as Zebra and TallyGenicom, alongside Xerox, Toshiba, Konica Minolta and Samsung; and most recently Copier Mate.

“It’s commonplace within the Xerox mono brand channel for dealerships to purchase other Xerox concessionaires, but we chose a different approach,” Crebolder explained. “We prefer to buy businesses that work with other vendors, and this provides us with an opportunity to grow Xerox business by churning those machines into Xerox devices.”

He added: “That’s our strategy for growth, we have done that in the past – it’s a proven strategy and works for us.”

Clive Hamilton, Group Managing Director

Commenting on the latest acquisition Hamilton said he was delighted to welcome Copier Mate to the Group. “We have ambitious growth plans and this acquisition will allow us to offer our workflow and managed documents services offering to an even larger customer base,” he said.

The move was welcomed by Carl Day, Toshiba Channel indirect Sales Director UK & Ireland: “We are delighted that Copier Mate has joined the Pinnacle Group. Under the Pinnacle umbrella, Copier Mate will be able to accelerate Toshiba’s market share growth within South Wales, benefiting from the Group’s extensive infrastructure and resources. We look forward to working with Pinnacle and Copier Mate, assisting in the success of our UK growth strategy. I take great pleasure in welcoming their clients and staff to the Toshiba Tec community.”

Copier Mate’s previous owner Ed Barnett, said: “Pinnacle is a long-standing player in the industry with a sterling reputation and they are a company, we feel, similar to that of Copier Mate. In fact, our values and approach to business are so similar, that we felt this was an ideal partnership to make.”

For the foreseeable future Copier Mate will continue to trade under its existing brand as a company within the Pinnacle Document Solutions Group. Copier Mate customers will continue to enjoy all the products and services from Toshiba. In addition the takeover will ensure clients will be able to benefit from Pinnacle’s extensive suite of products, services and software solutions.

Crebolder said that the deal will provide Copier Mate’s customer base with access to more services beyond print from hybrid mail to document solutions to scanning solutions and more. As part of its strategy to adopt a stronger solutions focus, the company is a Microsoft Silver Partner and a VMware accredited technology provider, moves that placed it in a strong position to provide clients with a full complement of tailored, flexible and scalable on premise, hybrid and cloud, end to end solutions.

And whilst the overall strategy is to increase its Xerox business, that will very much depend on customer requirements. “We will try to evolve Copier Mate’s MIF to Xerox but if the customer doesn’t want Xerox, then we will also continue to offer the Toshiba range and to service those devices,” he explained.

In addition the group’s local service desk is now managing all of the calls from Copier Mate’s clients. “All calls are now being routed through our local service centre, we’re providing them with remote support through which we are able to resolve the majority of issues on the phone, as well as full break-fix solution, engineer visits and toner and supplies replenishment,” Crebolder added.

More deals in pipeline

Sebastiaan Crebolder, Group Operations and Marketing Director

In October last year, Hamilton told PITR that future growth was firmly on the cards. Crebolder concurs: “Our goal is to achieve £20 million turnover by 2020. We’ve got a plan in place and we’re on track to achieve that. Future growth will be both organic and through acquisitions.”

The Copier Mate deal whose value has not been disclosed was supported with institutional backing from Finance Wales. Commenting Sam Macalister-Smith, Finance Executive at Finance Wales said: “We are delighted to support a significant part in this transaction. This deal not only strengthens Pinnacle’s position in the industry but is also a great example of how Finance Wales and businesses can work together to protect and grow Welsh interests in a rapidly changing European economy.”

Crebolder confirmed that there are other deals on the cards. “We have a war chest,” he said. “We have a long-standing partnership with Finance Wales and the funding in place to complete more deals, adding that there are potentially three in the pipeline.”

The group is also putting its money where its mouth is and ramping up recruitment to support its aggressive growth strategy. “We have recently boosted our sales team, adding five new recruits,” said, adding: “And we’re proactively looking to make a further five appointments.”

Pinnacle’s head office is in Cardiff and it also has offices in Exeter and Watford.