Home Finance & Investments Hemingways acquires Microsoft partner to support growth strategy

Hemingways acquires Microsoft partner to support growth strategy

Left to right: Dan Donnelly (Managing Director, Bliss-Systems), Andrew Johnson (Managing Director, Hemingways) and Colm Phelan (Finance Director, Hemingways).

A Ripon-based international e-commerce gifting, sales and distribution specialist has acquired a Microsoft Gold Partner company for an undisclosed sum.

Hemingways, which counts Cadbury, John Lewis, IKEA and Ticketmaster as clients, has bought Bliss-Systems in a strategic move funded by cash reserves.

It will give 102-year-old Hemingways greater access to Bliss-Systems’ technical and professional web services to support its growth plans with turnover expected to reach £200 million this financial year, up from just under £129 million in 2019/20.

The acquisition sees Bliss-Systems retain its 12 members of staff, operating name and premises in Leeds and Oxford.

Hemingways serves over 7,000 clients across 14 countries, promoting and selling their products to consumer and corporate markets through dedicated e-commerce solutions, managed software platforms, sales, warehousing, assembly and distribution.

Under its Voucher Express brand, Hemingways trades with over 60 UK and international retailers providing technology platforms for pre-paid products such as gift vouchers, gift cards and e-vouchers.

Managing Director at Hemingways, Andrew Johnson, said: “There is a very technical side to our business and Bliss-Systems will further strengthen our e-commerce capabilities.

“The team at Bliss-Systems is highly skilled and has great expertise making it the perfect partner for us.

“We have a long-standing relationship already with them having built and supported numerous white label e-commerce solutions for our Voucher Express brand and this move will secure our position as a leading technology player in the prepaid sector.

“Bliss-Systems will continue to operate as a standalone software house and the acquisition gives it a strong foundation from which to grow and develop its services to a wider range of public and private enterprises.”

Dan Donnelly, Managing Director at Bliss-Systems, said: “I’m delighted with the acquisition by Hemingways and to be working as part of the extended team there.

“The new relationship will afford both companies opportunities in terms of growth, strength and standing; as is often the case, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Two years ago Hemingways completed a 3,600 sq m warehouse and office extension of its operations centre at Barker Business Park near Melmerby, Ripon.

The expansion allowed it to consolidate in one location its 139-strong Yorkshire workforce that grows up to 250 during peak trading.