Xaar has announced the takeover of print systems and printbar specialist FFEI. An initial consideration of £3.7million has already been paid, reflecting FFEI’s free cash reserves, with an additional £5.4 million to be paid out over three years.

Hemel Hempstead-based FFEI is a manufacturer of industrial digital inkjet systems and digital life science technology that employs over 60 people and generated revenue of £9.9million in the year ending 31 March 2021. The company originally grew out of drum scanner and high-end colour system developer Crosfield Electronics which was founded in 1947 by Jim Crosfield to develop press control systems. It was acquired  by Fujifilm in 1997 at which point it became Fujifilm Electronic Imaging and produced a line of successful flatbed scanners. and colour management software It was bought out by its own management in 2006 but kept the FFEI brand.

Inkjet technology specialist Xaar, which laid out ambitious plans for long term growth back in 2020, says the acquisition will help accelerate its existing growth strategy whilst also opening up new opportunities when it comes to vertically integrated solutions.

In terms of FFEI’s management team, both CEO Andy Cook and CFO Julian Payne will remain in their current roles, reporting directly to Xaar’s CEO John Mills. Bob Wilson, FFEI’s CTO, will join Xaar in a ‘senior position’, where he will focus on delivering technologies for the company’s UDI customers.

Mr Mills, who invested in Xaar a little over a year ago, commented, ‘Having restructured and stabilised our core printhead business, the acquisition of FFEI will accelerate our strategy and expand our customer offering in a range of markets. As well as providing a number of ready-made solutions, the acquisition will further enhance Xaar’s world class expertise.

‘I’ve personally known the FFEI team for many years and have long admired their capabilities having previously worked closely with them. We are very excited to welcome them to Xaar and look forward to integrating the business as we continue to deliver on our strategy.’

Mr Cook added, ‘We are delighted to become part of Xaar which represents a fantastic opportunity for the business to develop and grow. Xaar has been a long-term market leader with great technology and great people and is a perfect fit for the business.’