AFI buys Octanorm Australia

Melbourne fabric printer AFI Branding has acquired Octanorm Australia from its German owners to offer full exhibition and retail display services.

AFI managing director Glenn Watson says the takeover will help it meet the growing need to meet increasingly demanding briefs for innovation, functionality and fast turnaround.

The Australian arm of the global business owned by Halifax Vogel Group (HVG) produces walls, floors, decks and other hardware for exhibitions, shop fit-outs and the like.

As AFI mainly produces signage, adding the hardware side gives it a complete ‘turn-key’ offering and Watson expects a big sales boost from cross-selling to each company’s clients.

All seven Octanorm staff will move to AFI’s Carrum Downs facility, with business manager Bill Bell continuing to lead that side of the business and report to Watson.

[Related: More mergers and acquisitions]

While AFI already has a strong presence in the convention stand space with its reframe technology, Watson says buying Octanorm opens up a much wider range of products that AFI did not have the demand to justify producing.

“The real winners from this deal are our clients,” he says. “It will be the same team with the same level of service but with a lot more services to offer.

“We are effectively bringing the very best in German engineering and design to the Australian and New Zealand markets and now able to combine this with the print capabilities of Australia’s leading digital fabric print company.

“It’s a perfect marriage between two companies who have, in equal proportion, a steadfast and proven history in not just leading the charge, but operating with an uncompromising commitment to constant improvement in supplying the very best solutions for exhibitors and retailers alike.”

HVG chief executive Bruce Rayment says AFI will take Octanorm’s business to new heights in Australia.

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