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Signs Express concludes a record-breaking year with an MBO

Signs Express concludes a record-breaking year with an MBO

The photograph shows the new Signs Express Management team: (l to r) Mark Poole, Ed Guichard, Carl Fisher, Jonathan Bean, Mark Harvey and Aaron Davis,

Signs Express has marked the conclusion of its 25th year in franchising with record network expansion and sales and a management buy-out designed to further drive the growth of the business.

Jonathan Bean, who has worked for the Signs Express for over 13 years, most recently as Finance Director, led the MBO and will now take over as Managing Director.

Craig Brown, a joint shareholder and the company’s Managing Director since 2007, will leave the company to pursue other personal and business interests.

Jonathan will lead a board of directors, which is headed by Chairman Carl Fisher of CF Consulting, i Network Development Director, Aaron Davis, who joined the business a year ago from Accenture, Marketing Director, Ed Guichard, who has recently joined the business from Norwich City Football Club, together with IT Director, Mark Poole, and Commercial Director, Mark Harvey.

Commenting on the MBO, Jonathan said: “2017 has been a remarkable year for the business. We’ve proudly celebrated our 25 years in franchising and marked that milestone to help us achieve incredible growth in our network. Consequently, our trading has been exceptionally strong with our third successive record year. All of this adds up to a fitting tribute to Craig’s tenure as Managing Director and both I, and the board team, are determined to build upon that legacy.”

The most recent MBO follows a two-year plan that has seen a huge investment in infrastructure and support services for the Signs Express network, led by the Norwich based franchise support team. The business’s 2020 vision, which will see the brand reach 80 production centres, is well on-track, with nine new franchisees coming on board during 2017 and new branches planned during the coming year.

Craig Brown said: “I am delighted to announce this MBO and to help transition the ownership of Signs Express to a hugely talented management team. I genuinely believe I will be leaving the business in much better shape than when I took on the role of Managing Director and feel sure that it is poised for a really exciting future.”

Signs Express was established in Norwich in 1989 and is now the UK’s largest sign franchise, with 66 franchises across the country. The company was founded with the specific aim of offering a professional one-stop-shop for business signs and graphics. Following a successful pilot from its custom sign production centre, the company began franchising in 1992 and now has a support team of over 20 people offering advice and guidance to the nationwide network of franchisees.

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