John Menzies snaps up Orbital in deal that could be worth £20m

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Logistics group John Menzies has agreed to buy Kent-based Orbital Marketing Services in a deal that could be worth almost £20 million and takes its distribution arm into new areas.

The deal adds nine different businesses areas to the group’s mature newspaper and magazine handling business, including travel brochure printing and distribution, e-commerce outsourcing, as well as an online crafts website.

Menzies said it will pay £7.7m up front, with a further £5.9m payable on 31 December 2014, funded through existing banking facilities.

Up to £6.3m may be payable on top of this subject to the Orbital business meeting “exceptionally high” profit performance targets by December 2014.

Chairman Iain Napier, who said the deal offers “synergies” and “opens up new opportunities”, commented: “This acquisition allows us to expand our printed media distribution footprint whilst taking a stride into adjacent growth areas.

“While the majority of the group’s expansion will continue to come from our industry leading aviation services business, this acquisition allows Menzies Distribution to grow by enlarging its printed media distribution capabilities and opening up new markets with strong growth opportunities.”

Orbital businesses include a brochure business, BP Travel Marketing Services, as well as Orbital Response, a contact centre, e-commerce, warehousing and fulfilment arm, and Orbital Mailing, a direct mail service.