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Wise Equity III (Italy)

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JK Group’s story is the epitome of how an SME can become a world leader by consolidating its market presence and achieving significant international growth with the financial and technical help of an experienced team of investment managers.

The company is active through the Kiian Digital, J-Teck and Sawgrass Industrial brands in the development, production and distribution of inks used in digital printing mainly on fabrics, for example in the sportswear and promotional wear industry including the design and manufacturing of team uniforms. JK Group’s inks are vastly deployed also in the soft signage sector for high quality printing on flexible polyester surfaces such as banners for visual communication.

Thanks to the experience of the Kiian brand, the Group has a long history of providing chemicals for traditional textile decoration methods also known as stencilling or screen printing. The business started in the 1940’s in the Italian region of Como, Lombardy which had been a landmark for silk fabrics in Europe since the 18th century. With the advent of digital printing in the late 1990s, Kiian pioneered in delivering inks adapted to the new technology. Recognising the promising potential of the industry, the EIF-backed Wisequity III investment fund, in partnership with the Alcedo III fund, acquired a majority stake in the company and subsequently restructured it to make Kiian both more profitable and ready for international expansion.

The new industrial site for digital inks built as part of this process is both environmentally-friendly and allows a three-fold increase in the production capacity in line with the company’s growth targets. Kiian Digital also acquired two competitors in Italy (J-Teck) and in the US (Sawgrass Industrial), thus substantially increasing its competitiveness under the joint JK Group name before it was finally sold to a large, multinational industrial operator in late 2015 at an exit value of 6.4 times the invested capital. The company’s offices are now located in Italy, China and the United States.

Company: JK Group(Italy)
Type of business: Ink production for digital printing
EU-supported investment through Wise Equity III 


For further information about EIF intermediaries in Italy, please refer to:
http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/it

 

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