Signage leaders PSA, Romano merge

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PHOTO: Sign fundis sign – Alexi Romano and Sean Rogers, managing directors of Romano Signs with Premier Sayina Africa respectively, signing the merger agreement that creates PSA-Romano Signs, the largest corporate signage company in sub-Saharan Africa

PREMIER Sayina Africa (PSA), a manufacturer and supplier of branded corporate signage, and Romano Signs have merged, creating the largest corporate signage company in sub-Saharan Africa.

“PSA and Romano currently have the largest and most comprehensive manufacturing footprint in the corporate signage industry in sub-Saharan Africa with manufacturing facilities in both the Gauteng and the Western Cape,” said Sean Rogers, managing director of the new business, PSA-Romano Signs. As such, the new company will be one of the largest consumers of hi-spec plastic sheet in the region.

“PSA and Romano have as part of their commitment to increasing their manufacturing capacity invested in a new best-in-class manufacturing facility in the Cape into which the current Romano operations will relocate when it comes on stream in July 2018.

“The combined companies have localised service hubs in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, and co-operative manufacturing arrangements on the east and west coasts of Africa. Our footprint will fully support our customers’ expansion into new markets,” added Rogers.

Both companies deliver global and local corporate brand implementations throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Clients include widely known brands such as VW, Hyundai, Jeep, ABSA, BP, Steers, Ford, Avis, Total, Clicks, Engen, Sasol and Honda.

PSA services SADC-region countries directly from its Gauteng hub, and the remainder of sub-Saharan Africa through companies in Lagos, Nigeria and Nairobi, Kenya with whom it has co-operative manufacturing agreements. Both companies have completed installations in numerous sub-Saharan African countries including Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique, Mauritius, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Swaziland,” said Rogers.

“This transaction, which is the culmination of months of discussions between PSA and Romano Signs, was borne out of the realisation that while both PSA and Romano are significant players in their respective markets, a combined business would be greater than the sum of the parts. This will consequently offer both our existing and future customers within the sub-Saharan African region an enhanced product and service offering,” added Rogers.

“For both PSA and Romano, who have steadfastly maintained their remarkably similar business values and philosophies over a number of years, this transaction has and will always be about our customers, their brands and our ability to produce a quality product that honours the brands with which we are entrusted.”

The board of directors of the merged business will comprise the current PSA board members together with Alexi Romano, managing director of Romano Signs, who will be a key shareholder and board member. The newly formed business is backed by Grindrod Financial Services, a division of the JSE-listed Grindrod Limited.

 

‘Quick service’

Alexi Romano added: “We will leverage the pedigree of each company addressing the retail petrochemical, automotive retail, food and clothing retail, banking, quick service and fast foods markets.

“We believe the sustainability and future growth of South Africa, together with the future of the corporate signage industry, is directly linked to the successful implementation of the principles of B-BBEE.

“The newly constituted business will be a Level 4, black-owned (72%), black woman-owned (15%) and Empowering Supplier under the amended Codes of Good Practice for Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE),” said Romano, whose father, the late Romanos Romano, widely regarded as one of the pioneers of the South African signage industry, started Romano Signs in 1952.

Romanos’ flair for design and willingness to take on any job led to a steady growth in the business. Initially the focus was signwriting, however soon the company started producing ‘5-by-2’s’ (5ft-long 2ft-high under-awning signs with fluorescent lamp illumination).

The company managed to stay abreast with the latest signage technologies and adopted these into the business. These included fluorescent and neon-illuminated signs (1950s); engraving, acrylic fabrication and moulding (1960s); screenprinting and metal fabrication (1970s); CAD/CAM as well as computerised router and vinyl cutting (1980s); digital printing (1990s); and LED and ECG-based fluorescent illumination (2000s).