Exclusive Coverage: M&R Companies Acquires Novus Imaging

Roselle, Illinois-based screen printing equipment manufacturer M&R Companies announces its acquisition of Moultonborough, New Hampshire-based Novus Imaging, a grand-format digital inkjet printer manufacturer.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Two years ago M&R began retrofitting a 320,000-square-foot building that was designed to combine two facilities it had been operating out of in the Chicago area that were both running well over capacity. Mike Mills, president and chief technology officer of Novus Imaging, took notice of that expansion.

He says with the introduction in 2015 of Novus’s large-format ULTRA flatbed LED printer and an increasing demand for its other UV printers, he had been looking for a company to partner with on manufacturing. Mills called up Rich Hoffman, CEO of M&R, and opened up a dialogue.

“We had a really limited capability when it came to manufacturing,” Mills says. “We could produce maybe four a month on the high end. We’re not limited by that anymore.”

But it’s not just M&R’s capacity for building machines that makes this such an ideal fit for his company, Mills says.  

“The really cool thing about M&R is they have an amazing manufacturing capability—far beyond anything we had, and they also have a great service organization and a really good sales staff,” says Mills. “So, all the things that we really needed to scale up in a big way, they already had. And all of the things they really needed we already had. So it really worked out to be a really good fit.”

M&R had expanded in recent years into computer-to-screen imaging, with its i-Image Series, and into direct-to-garment digital printing with its M-Link line. The company was looking at ways to incorporate inkjet printing into its graphics and industrial printing line, Hoffman says, “but we weren’t expecting a fortunate event like Mike’s call to lead us there.”

According to Peter Walsh, M&R’s vice president of sales, acquiring Novus Imaging is a “large leap forward” for his company in terms of broadening its offerings in the marketplace.

“The opportunity to acquire Novus started off with Novus looking for some manufacturing capability, and we realized that M&R still had a significant presence in the industrial and graphic print market, and that we would benefit from having someone of Mike Mills’ talent—he’s one of the true innovators in the inkjet space,” says Walsh. “Having Mike and his team be a part of M&R as we continue to develop not only the graphic product line that Novus has but also really building the knowledge base and a foundation in inkjet product development for all applications, be it graphic industrial or textile.”

Novus Imaging will continue to be based in New Hampshire and its products will continue to carry that brand, now with “an M&R company” attached to the name. Mills says manufacturing of all of Novus’s products—the ULTRA line; the SYNERGIA hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll UV printer; and the PICTORA high-speed digital board production UV printer—will be rolled into the M&R facility over the next nine months.

Novus employs approximately 25 employees, while privately-held M&R is approximately 500 employees around the globe. Along with its Chicago-area headquarters the company also has locations in Miami, New York, Hong Kong and Poland.

“We’re looking forward to combining our manufacturing, service, and sales resources with Novus Imaging to provide greater access to equipment and enhanced levels of service and support for current and future Novus customers,” Hoffman says.

Some limited manufacturing will still be done in New Hampshire, Mills says, but for the most part staff at Novus’s headquarters will be freed up to put more emphasis on R&D which, he says, will ultimately lead to new products. And now he’s part of a global powerhouse that will market and sell those products, Mills says.

“They have the most amazing service organization I’ve ever seen,” he says. “I mean, it’s impressive.”

Got a news tip? Contact Tony Kindelspire