Greetings Today magazine, giving you the bigger picture

BGC attract investors

9th outlet planned as co-founder stays on under new majority shareholders Ardenton


BGC HAVE attracted investment from Ardenton Capital Corporation who have taken a majority stake in the Manchester and Dublin based operation where co-founder Paul Lavery will be staying on as MD.

Founded in 1984, BGC design and sell greetings cards and gift wrap with other stationery and celebratory products with their own distribution facility (pictured) and also operate eight cash and carry warehouses in the UK and Ireland.
They employ 180 staff across Budget Trading in Manchester and their Dublin-based sister company Budget Greeting Cards, collectively reporting sales of £36million in the last financial year.
Ardenton will work closely with BGC’s management team, and the partnership will allow the business to unlock further geographic expansion, starting with the opening of a new outlet in the East Midlands.
Ardenton will also assist Paul in developing an e-commerce platform which will help drive additional growth while his brother and co-founder Martin will exit the business but remain involved on a consultancy basis to help the company achieve their growth ambitions.
Michael Bradbury, director of Ardenton UK, said: “BGC have built an excellent reputation and a market-leading position across the UK and Ireland, and benefit from a passionate and extremely knowledgeable management team.
“We will assist management in developing new routes to market for the business and their products, which will unlock future growth.
“In the short term, BGC will launch a new cash and carry outlet in Nottingham and will commence development of an online presence. We look forward to working closely with the management team to continue to scale the business and maintain the legacy of its founders.”
Paul added: “The business has been trading well for more than 30 years, so it was crucial for us that we found an investor who believed in the long-term growth of the company.
“Ardenton’s strategy of a long-term investment model focused on developing robust sustainable growth was aligned closely with our own aspirations, and made Ardenton the best investor to help take BGC to the next level.”
With offices in Manchester, as well as four in Canada and three in the US, are a global private investment corporation and target majority investments in businesses alongside strong incumbent owners and management teams seeking support in delivering long-term sustainable growth for their businesses.
Supporting the BGC partnership is Ardenton’s Manchester-based strategic development director Allan Dunn who will ideally oversee the implementation of the Ardenton Operating System, focusing on business improvement and growth.
Jane Hartley, senior director at Yorkshire Bank, said: “This well-established family business have been at the forefront of their industry for more than 30 years. BGC have developed a strong presence in the UK and Ireland and their robust approach to business has made them the market leaders.
“At Yorkshire Bank, we want to champion SMEs in the North West and we are delighted to be working with BGC as they implement their growth strategy, which includes investing in new geographical locations and boosting their online presence.”
Mazars Deal Advisory partner David Hilton said: “We’re very pleased that our team has been able to ensure a smooth and well-executed transaction for the vendors. Mazars have a long history of supporting family-owned businesses and this transaction further demonstrates our ability to create value for those clients.
“BGC have a fantastic management team and the deal with Ardenton will allow the business to implement their ambitious expansion plan.”

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