April 2, 2014, 10:48 AM

Top 500 e-retailer Vistaprint will buy an Italian printing firm

The acquisition of Pixartprinting will cost Vistaprint about $175 million.

Lead Photo

Vistaprint NV, a web-only seller of business cards, stationery and other custom-printed items for small businesses, will buy Italy-based Pixartprinting Srl, a web-to-print business with more than 100,000 customers. Pixartprinting earns most of its revenue from graphic designers and printers that produce flyers for small- and medium-sized businesses.

Vistaprint, No. 33 in the Internet Retailer 2013 Top 500 Guide, says it will pay approximately 127 euros (US$174.9 million) for Pixartprinting. That will give Vistaprint a 97% stake in the business, with the remaining 3% held by Matteo Rigamonti, who founded Pixartprinting in 1994. Pixartprinting has about 330 employees, Vistaprint says, and took in 56 million euros (US$77.1 million) in revenue in 2013, up 45% from the year before. Most Pixartprinting customers are in Italy, Spain and France.

“We have a well-established strategy to pursue scale-based competitive advantages in our manufacturing operations,” says Vistaprint president and CEO Robert Keane. “As we continue to make strong progress on the re-positioning of our traditional Vistaprint brand we have gained a better appreciation for the many types of customers that make up the large and fragmented small-business printing market. We are impressed with the approach that Pixartprinting has taken to serve a segment of the market that Vistaprint has not traditionally served.”

Vistaprint expects the transaction to close during the fourth quarter.

The deal follows a Japanese joint venture that Vistaprint announced late last year with Plaza Create Co., a Japanese web- and store-based retailer of photo prints, cameras, accessories and cloud-based photo storage services. Each company will contribute its Japanese online business to the venture, and products will also be available on computer kiosks within Plaza Create’s Palette Plaza and 55 Station stores throughout Japan, Vistaprint says.

In August, Vistaprint reported a 14.4% year-over-year web sales increase for fiscal 2012, to $1.167 billion, up by about 14.4% from $1.020 billion.

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