Magna Colours, the leading supplier of sustainable water-based inks for screen printing, has been acquired by US-based Avient Corporation.

The acquisition, worth nearly £35 million ($48 million), will see MagnaColours materials join Avient’s existing specialty inks portfolio alongside prominent brands such as Wilflex and Rutland.

Founded in 1978 and based in Barnsley in South Yorkshire, Magna has pioneered the development of next-generation water-based ink technology that provides innovative and high-performance solutions for leading brands and screen printers. Its portfolio of water-based ink products offers sustainability benefits and unique characteristics without compromising performance.

Tom Abbey, chairman of Magna, said: “While growing Magna, I had a goal to revolutionise the industry and promote sustainable options – our proven technology accomplishes that. With Avient, I have found a leader aligned with our sustainability values to take us to the next level and truly globalise the business. Avient was the clear choice, and I’m thrilled for Magna to begin its next chapter.”

The deal will see Tom exiting the business gradually, with Magna continuing to have access to him for 20 months. He joined the business in 1987 and took over the helm from his father, Jim Abbey, who founded MagnaColours in 1978.

Phil Cochrane, director of global product management for Avient’s Colormatrix business based in Knowsley in Merseyside, is joining the Magna team as integration manager.

Avient Corporation, based in Avon Lake in Ohio, employs about 8,400 people around the world, It is involved in developing and supplying specialised and sustainable materials such as barrier technologies that preserve the shelf-life and quality of food, drinks, medicine and other perishable goods and technologies that minimise wastewater and improve recyclability.

In May this year, Avient launched a consolidated range of plastisol special-effect inks and additives, offering dazzling shimmers, glitters, gels, texture effects and performance-enhancing modifiers, under its new Avient Specialty Inks brand. Its other ink brands are Wilflex, Rutland, Zodiac, Union Ink, Printop and QCM.

Robert M Patterson, chairman, president and CEO of Avient Corporation, said: “Magna represents an important investment in sustainable solutions as brand owners seek alternatives to legacy technologies. We are thrilled to have Magna join Avient. We expect our collective inks portfolio will grow substantially as the threat of Covid subsides, people can safely attend sporting and other live events in person, and travel increases.”

In a statement to customers, the group added: “Avient has no plans for changes to Magna products, brands or distribution partners. There are no plans for production consolidations or commercial changes to the portfolio.

“The plan is to invest and grow by leveraging the technology and innovation of two great specialty inks providers while preserving Magna’s entrepreneurial spirit. In short, it’s business as usual.”