Cardfair's £45m deal creates new market force

Value greeting card retailer Cardfair has enveloped Card Warehouse in a£45 million takeover deal, to create the third largest player in the£1.1 billion UK card market.

A new umbrella company, the Greeting Card Group, has been formed, and according to finance director Peter Osman the acquisition is 'only the beginning'. The combined business will generate sales of£80 million.

Osman said: 'We have an aggressive five-year plan to expand.'

Cardfair founder and managing director Simon Lawson heads the new business.

He said: 'This acquisition delivers our goal of becoming a national value greeting card retailer and provides us with a solid base from which to grow.'

The two companies have a complementary geographical fit with Cardfair's 200 stores, mainly in the South, and the northern bias of Card Warehouse's 235 stores. Both identities will be retained.

Former Card Warehouse joint managing directors Andrew Crankshaw and Phillip Needham will stay on in a non-executive capacity.