Major workplace supplies and services provider Banner has acquired leading West Yorkshire-based reseller Ventura Office Supplies.
The purchase represents the latest strengthening of its market coverage by Banner, one of the evo group of companies, as it broadens its business beyond its traditional base of mainly large contract customers in the public and private sectors, including major banks, government departments and local authorities.
Banner’s acquisition of Ventura follows its absorption of another reseller, Manchester-based WA Office Needs, for similar reasons, last July.
Established 12 years, Bingley-based Ventura is one of the UK’s leading independent office product dealers, It has a particular expertise in educational supplies, computer hardware and office furniture that will add both scale and expertise to Banner’s already broad business supplies offering.
All six Ventura staff will be retained following the acquisition and the company, which had a turnover of £1.4m in the last full financial year, will continue to operate from its present site and trade under its current name.
Andrea Eli, the director and previous owner of Ventura with her partner Hari Athwal, will join the Banner sales leadership team as sales director and Her wider remit will include managing Banner’s Loughborough, Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent and Swindon offices, as well as the Bingley site. Hari will now operate as Ventura’s sales manager.
Explaining the reasons for the sale, Andrea said: “We’re extremely proud of the success we’ve achieved with Ventura but this is absolutely the right time for us to become part of Banner. There are significant and increasing restrictions on smaller dealers’ ability to grow their customer bases, product ranges, incomes and resourcing in the current market, without them spending serious money, and this deal releases all those chains we felt were holding us back.
“We’re also certain this is a very exciting time to be joining Banner. We are excited by Banner’s vision of the future and its very strong position in the market. It has a very bright future indeed. We’ve been greatly impressed by the expertise, enthusiasm and excitement about the years ahead among Banner’s people from the moment they first approached us.
Summarising the reasons for the Ventura acquisition, Craig Varey, managing director, Banner, said: “The purchase will bring us incremental sales and expand our market coverage on behalf of our suppliers. It has also allowed us to add some outstanding experience and expertise in servicing growth categories to our team.
“Importantly, our partnership with Ventura makes additional sense because of our shared values. It was obvious when we were talking to Andrea and Hari that our two organisations were compatible for many reasons, such as our intense mutual focus on delivering the highest possible customer service standards.”
Craig added that Banner’s strategy meant it would continue to develop and grow by adding to its products, brands, categories and sectors. He said it will accelerate this process through strategically aligned acquisitions, where these will deliver benefits such as adding important expertise in key expansion areas.
Andrea last month won the SME Emerging Business Leader category of the annual national awards organised by Forward Ladies, the UK’s largest support network for women in business.