01. June 2011 · Write a comment · Categories: Uncategorized

The following press release was issued at 2pm UK time today (1st June 2011)

“From 1st June 2011, the two separate UK business units of Intellident Ltd and Bibliotheca Ltd, together with Intellident’s French subsidiary (Ident SAS), will combine into a single company (Intellident Ltd). Backed financially by One Equity Partners (OEP), a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co, this new company becomes part of the Bibliotheca Group (Cham, Switzerland), including the recently merged Bibliotheca ITG in North America.

Together with an increased product portfolio, combined staff expertise and access to further investment, the merger also presents an opportunity to combine the strengths of the Board and Management Teams of both organisations. Darren Ratcliffe becomes the new Managing Director of the new UK business, with the remaining Intellident Directors transferring to central roles within the Group operation.

On his appointment, Darren commented: “We are hugely excited about the prospects that integration within the new Group will deliver, bringing an unparalleled depth and breadth of product development and support. Our existing customers will now have access to a significantly increased range of products and a much larger pool of UK-based support staff. For new customers, they can now engage with Intellident in the knowledge that they are dealing with one of the largest dedicated global providers of RFID systems.”

The merger follows the announcement in January of Intellident’s acquisition by Chamonix LLP, which effectively released the company from the LINPAC Group. Jim Hopwood explains: “This merger with Bibliotheca has been the ambition of our Directors for some considerable time. The resultant product synergies, expanded staff experience and increased development and sourcing leverage provide the perfect platform for on-going and sustainable growth. After completing this merger, we have built the necessary foundation to successfully compete and serve our customers in the future with the broadest range of innovative products in the marketplace.”

He continued: “Our recent departure from the LINPAC Group, facilitated by Chamonix Private Equity (as part of their joint acquisition of 5 ex-LINPAC companies), provided us the ideal opportunity to position our business for this transition and acted as a stepping-stone to achieve our end goal. On behalf of Intellident and Bibliotheca, I would like to thank the partners at Chamonix for their expertise, advice and assistance during the conclusion of this deal”.

To further cement its UK position and allow for continued expansion, Intellident will re-locate offices to larger Manchester-based premises this coming August, providing expanded facilities for it’s staff, customers and enhanced product and technology development capabilities.

Matthias Joos, CEO of Bibliotheca AG, concludes: “Intellident have long been the UK’s leading provider of RFID solutions, with a commanding position in the market, outstanding staff expertise and a comprehensive product set. This merger presents us with a truly unique and exciting opportunity to further strengthen our UK trading, whilst increasing product ranges and servicing our customers at an even higher level. Over the coming months, Bibliotheca and Intellident will cement our place as the benchmark for product design and customer service in the global RFID market, providing a combination of Swiss engineering and UK technical expertise.”

This is obviously a very significant moment in the growth of the global library RFID market. Following the recently announced US merger between ITG and Bibliotheca the company now becomes the largest single player in the global market.

Cause for concern? Too soon to say of course – there are many questions to be answered (or even thought of!) and there will be those who see any merger as potentially threatening competition. 3M’s continued and very obvious commitment to libraries should however keep the new company “honest”. The good news is that all three companies united by the merger are – along with 3M and other UK suppliers – committed to using national data standards so, from my admittedly narrow Anglo-Saxon viewpoint that effectively unites the US, Australian and UK markets around ISO 28560-2 bringing a much needed stability to a highly fragmented market.

Widespread adoption of the UK standard could create the potential for smaller, more agile,  players to become more specialised by supplying more niche, integrated products. One could therefore see this change as potentially creating diversity and encouraging innovation.

My immediate reaction is that this is a mostly positive consolidation of the market. The next few months should make things much clearer.



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