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Shares dip in £297m float

SHARES in Card Factory began trading on the London Stock Exchange at 8am at an initial price of 225p each making the company’s market capitalisation £766.6million.

The company said the offer is expected to raise

Cracker of a day for Queen

THERE was a cracker of a day at International Greetings when the Queen and Prince Philip visited their Welsh base to offi cially open the new printing press facility.

The £8million development includes two state-of-

the-art presses in a new factory for the company which has held a Royal Warrant to supply Tom Smith crackers to the Sovereign since 1906 – and gained a second one for Christmas wrapping paper last year. Group CEO Paul Fineman said: “We were extremely privileged and overjoyed that Her Majesty the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited our offi ces and manufacturing plant, based in Wales, on April 30. “This was an historic day for all staff and a really positive boost to the local area and community.” International Greetings UK, including the Tom Smith

Group in Ystrad Mynach, near Caerphilly, recently celebrated their 35th anniversary. They manufacture over 450 million metres of wrapping paper a year at the Welsh plant, which

employs 400 people, of which 35 per cent is exported worldwide.

IG also have bases in the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia, from where the worldwide team of more than 1,800 design, produce and supply greetings cards, stationery, giftwrap and packaging, crackers and creative play products to over 80 countries, with group sales in excess of £220m in 2013/14 with results due to be announced in early July. Paul added: “Following the fi rst phase – in Holland

– of a signifi cant investment across our manufacturing facilities, we announced in 2013 a major development of our UK manufacturing operation in Wales. “That has just been completed and commissioned on time and on budget in April 2014. This investment protects the long-term viability of our business and the employment it provides and assures the continuing strengthening of our business.” 01443 863500 or 01525 887310

Minting exciting acquisition

DEBBIE and Alan Williams have been at it again – while getting ready for a trade fair, they’ve made a new acquisition, adding Real & Exciting Designs to their Mint Publishing portfolio. Following on from buying Museums & Galleries during Harrogate Home & Gift last July, the pair negotiated their latest deal during the run up to PG Live with the announcement being made as they set up their stand at London’s Business Design Centre ready for the show to open in the morning.

Sarah Curedale has been the creative

force behind Real & Exciting Designs with the business side run by her husband Paul until his tragic death from cancer in February last year. “We’ve bought the company,” Alan told Greetings

Today, “Sarah is going to have a well-deserved holiday and when she’s ready she’s going to come back to design for the on-going fi rm. “We’ll continue to run Real & Exciting as a separate

company, it’s in fulfi lment at the moment so we’re going to leave it there at least until after this year’s Christmas stock as gone out, then we’ll make a decision. “It’s such a good fi t with us, their offering doesn’t compete because it’s a more boutiquey- type of market, but it fi ts nicely with Mint and M&G. “We had an initial chat a while ago band Sarah wanted to continue to run it herself, but it started getting on top of her so when she decided to get out we jumped on it quickly.

“When we bought M&G I said to the

staff that if we ever talked about buying another company they were to stop us – so we didn’t tell them all until we’d done it!”

0116 230 4197 01223 207080

AGM out of this world

THE GCA are going out of this world with this year’s AGM as the venue is the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium at the National Space Centre. Just outside Leicester, the largest planetarium in the UK has been booked exclusively for the most popular event in the GCA’s calendar on September 29, giving

everyone who attends free access to all the exhibits. An array of high-profi le industry speakers will be on

the programme then, following the usually delicious lunch, there will be planetarium shows, access to the Rocket Tower, and rides on the 3D space simulator!

gross proceeds between £206.6m and £236.3m for the selling shareholders made up of the Charterhouse Funds and current and former individual members of the group’s management. The 713-store group, which began in 1997 with a single shop in Wakefi eld, Yorkshire, was acquired by Charterhouse in 2010 and will receive £90m of gross proceeds from the offer, which began with conditional dealings on the LSE on May 15, while unconditional dealings started fi ve days later. However within hours shares were trading at 213 pence, having dropped to 205p at one point, and

raised about £297m. The price has since fl uctuated, dropping to 200p then rallying. CEO Richard Hayes said: “Card Factory has fi rmly established itself as the leading specialist retailer in the large, resilient and growing UK greetings cards market. “Ours is a well-invested and cash-generative business

with a strong business model, creating an excellent platform for further profi table growth. We welcome our new shareholders, and our priority now is to execute our clearly-defi ned growth strategy on their behalf.” With 131,834,049 ordinary shares in the initial

public offering, certain current and former members of the group’s management have been allotted 4,375,000 shares as their management entitlement, making a total of 340,696,235 shares in issue. Following the IPO, the directors and members of

the group management will hold 19.2 per cent of the shares, with Charterhouse Funds holding 41.3 per cent if the over-allotment option is not exercised, and 37.4 per cent if the option is fully exercised.

New name on the street

CLINTONS operators Schurman Retail Group have launched new premium greetings card fascia Jolie Papier in the UK. The 1,800 sq ft store, which sells cards, stationery, wrapping paper and gifts, opened last week in a former Clintons site at Lend Lease’s Bluewater shopping centre. Schurman Retail have been developing the

premium fascia since January last year, as they want to offer a different proposition from their Clintons chain. The original intention was to call it Papyrus to keep the same branding as the chain Schurman operates in the US, but the name is already trademarked in the UK It is understood that a number of sites have been earmarked for the new retailer, made up of Clintons stores and new shops.

Schurman is a division of UK Greetings owners American Greetings, which bought Clintons out of administration two years ago. 7

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