Global Graphics buys URW font maker

Global Graphics has acquired the entire issued share capital of font manufacturer URW++ Design & Development GmbH, which develops and designs digital typefaces. 

The company invented digital outline font technology and tools 35 years ago and is one of the few remaining font foundries that date from the pre-PostScript era. It invented the Ikarus system for font design and production in 1978, which has become a de-facto standard around the world.

URW continues to license its type libraries to the graphic design market and also develops exclusive corporate typefaces for brands such as General Motors and Mercedes Benz. In addition, it has developed a business in “global fonts” that include non-Latin scripts and that allow documents to be interchanged between many countries while maintaining brand identity.

Gary Fry, Global Graphics’ CEO, explained that the two companies had worked together for some years, adding: “With the recent growth we have experienced in the office market we have seen more opportunities for a combined proposition of our Harlequin RIP technology and URW’s font solutions.”

The acquisition is likely to cost Global Graphics some €4.2 million, which will be settled by €2.0 million in newly created ordinary shares of Global Graphics SE and €2.2 million in cash from existing cash reserves, of which €0.2 million is contingent consideration payable in 2016. A total of 925,926 new ordinary shares will be issued, increasing the number of issued shares from 10,289,781 to 11,215,707.  This will result in a dilution of 8.26%.

However, Fry noted: “Subject to the acquisition accounting, we do expect the acquisition to have a positive contribution to EBITA during the current financial year.” URW has earned revenues averaging €2.9 million in recent years and had assets worth €2.0 million by the end of 2014.

URW, which is based in Hamburg, Germany, will continue to operate as a standalone business led by managing director Peter Rosenfeld, who co-founded the company.  It will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Global Graphics SE.





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