AlphaGraphics, a marketing services and printing firm based in Stockton-on-Tees, has acquired one of its key customers, Class Fundraising, to help it move further into the education sector. 

Class Fundraising provides personalised Christmas cards, mugs and tea towels to schools across the UK and the acquisition means that its 11 members of staff will join AlphaGraphics’ existing workforce, bringing the total number of staff to 80, with plans to recruit for further positions later in the year.

‘Class Fundraising has been our customer for over a decade,’ said AlphaGraphics managing director Andrew Dalton. ‘The business works in one of our core markets, education, and provide services including screen, dye sublimation and fabric printing, along with appropriate finishing. ‘The products and services offered closely align with our strategy of focusing on personalised gifts, whilst also strengthening our existing presence in the schools market.

 ‘They currently spend around £650,000 per year with us, the majority in quarters three and four, which is a major chunk of their annual sales of £2.7m, so the acquisition makes great business sense for everyone concerned. This will take group sales over £10m. We’ve been talking about the idea for the past five years, so I’m pleased to see it finally come to fruition.’

Class Fundraising was set up by Mark Simpson and Simon Fulton 11 years ago, and both men will stay with the business for the foreseeable future to ensure continuity. 

‘There will be no job losses as a result of the deal, and there are no plans to relocate the Class Fundraising team before the end of the year,’ explained Mr Dalton. ‘In the next few months, we’re also looking to recruit an operations manager, who will oversee all aspects of large format, screen, dye sublimation and fabric printing, as well as a marketing director and a digital design role.

 ‘The Class Fundraising acquisition is the latest step in our growth plans, and we’re always on the look-out for other firms to bring into the AlphaGraphics family.’