Private equity firm Matrix has backed the £8.5 million management buy-out (MBO) of the printer retailer Automated Systems Group (ASL), gaining a significant minority stake in the company.
The deal is Matrix’ third in a month, and follows the backing of the £4.5 million MBO of publisher Faversham House in December.
Mark Wignall, CEO of Matrix Private Equity Partners comments: ‘The strong end to the year follows a noticeable uptick in deal activity for SME funding since the summer. We believe that we have now entered a sustainable and attractive period for investment activity in the SME space and we expect to continue to deploy significant cash during 2011 into profitable businesses with strong prospects for growth.’
Guy Blackburn, investment manager at Matrix, will join the board of ASL as non-executive director.
Founded in 1991, ASL sells printers and copiers to customers including the University of Cambridge and Essex County Council, as well as offering maintenance services. The Cambridge-based company has six further offices in England, employs 60 staff and has an annual turnover of around £10 million.