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Seaham gift card firm MBL Solutions sold in deal worth potential £3.5 million

A gift card provider has been sold in a deal that could rise to more than £3 million.

MBL Solutions, in Seaham, east Durham, is now part of Liverpool-based Appreciate Group.

Officials say the partnership will allow both operators to “make huge strides”, with Appreciate Group set to use MBL’s technology to bolster brands that include Love2shop and Park Christmas Savings.

They add the deal, worth an initial £1.65 million, could rise by a further £1.8 million over the next 12 months.

Employing seven staff, MBL provides gift card processing and management services for retailers, as well as a digital gift card mall for B2B and B2C customers to buy cards directly from more than 160 high street operators.

Sam Morton, chief commercial officer at Redu Group – MBL’s former parent company – said: “We acquired the business during the pandemic, when we realised the technology and the team, while already well established in the industry, had huge potential for growth.

“During the last 18 months, the team has managed to achieve great things, with significant clients coming on board and great progress with the solutions we offer to the market.

“Appreciate Group is the perfect home for MBL, and so when they approached us to acquire, it was an easy decision.”

Ian O’Doherty, Appreciate Group chief executive [pictured above], added: “The acquisition rapidly accelerates our technology plans and immediately enhances our capabilities, particularly in our corporate business.

“The MBL platform will help us improve the competitiveness of our offerings and bring forward opportunities that can deliver growth.”

Appreciate Group also includes the highstreetvouchers.com and Appreciate Business Services brands.

Nick Johnson, Rhiannon Nightingale and Tom Cosby, of Ryecroft Glenton Corporate Finance, provided advice to shareholders in the deal, with Paul Wigham and Nick Gray, of Weightmans LLP, delivering legal advice.