York Mailing acquires TLG after capital injection
Weeks after receiving a £10 million investment York Mailing has made the first acquisition, with scope for more.
YORK MAILING HAS DIPPED INTO the £10 million funding received from the Business Growth Fund to acquire Leeds direct mail printer The Lettershop Group. The deal will bring York Mailing to turnover of £100 million and to becoming a substantial force in web offset, particularly for retail.
With the original business concentrating on flyers and the Pindar business acquired last year producing catalogues for online retailers, The Lettershop Group adds a direct mail and data driven print proposition. The business started in the financial sector, latterly expanding in retail with the Co-op among its customers. Others include Marks & Spencer, tesco and Sky.
CHRIS INGRAM, CEO OF YORK Mailing, says: “TLG is a natural fit within the York Mailing business and we look forward to being able to offer customers an enhanced range of promotional printing services.” The funding from BGF has enabled the deal and represents just the first acquisition made using the BGF capital.
The deal will see TLG owner John Hornby step away from the £23 million turnover business, while David McGolpin and Simon Cooper will remain with the business as joint managing directors. Hornby says: “I am delighted that the York Mailing Group of companies has acquired The Lettershop Group and along with Simon and David, I think this is the perfect home for The Lettershop business. I firmly believe that being part of the UK’s most dynamic print provider offers a real opportunity for TLG to extend their leading technology to a broader customer base.”
TLG OPERATES TWO WEB OFFSET presses, an M600 and older Harris M110 8pp press, running reel to reel and four finishing lines capable of cutting folding and gluing to create one piece mailers. Uniquely the company has developed the capability of printing a swathe of four colour variable data information using Kodak Stream heads at a time when Kodak was marketing the add on as a mono only proposition. TLG had considered packaging this technology for other printers.
The opportunity now is to cross sell the technology to York Mailing’s existing clients, especially those in online shopping where TLG’s experience in data management and analytics will prove beneficial alongside Pindar’s more limited experience of variable data printing. One aspect that has already been considered is a personalised section, based on a consumer’s purchasing history, at the opening of a catalogue printed using the inkjet technology on standard catalogue papers.
Chris Ingram with chief operating officer Mike Newbould
York Mailing gains £10m funding for expansion
By Jo Francis Tuesday, 16 July 2013
York Mailing has secured a major vote of confidence in print, becoming the first printing company to receive a multi-milllion pound investment via the Business Growth Fund (BGF).
The £75m turnover group has gained a £10m investment – the maximum possible via the BGF – to fund growth at the business. The BGF will take a minority stake in the company.
Chief executive Chris Ingram described the investment as "very good news for the company and the printing industry".
He told PrintWeek: "It’s easy for people to think the printing industry is in decline. The reality is, if you’re focused on very specific markets it’s actually quite the reverse.
"This is very good new for the printing industry, when you’ve got financial institutions taking our sector seriously and realising there are opportunities going forward."
Richard Taylor, senior investment manager at the BGF, praised the York Mailing team for building a profitable and growing business by targeting a niche area. "It’s a great example of a proven and dynamic management team with a clear plan to grow their business."
York Mailing will use the money to support acquisitions and further capex investment. "We have specific plans for the future and we are looking at one or two acquisitions," Ingram said, although he declined to go into details about potential targets.
The group has established a market-leading position in print for the retail sector including flyers, leaflets and catalogues for multi-channel retailers. Clients include Lidl, Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Boden.
In the year to the end of May 2013 the group achieved EBITDA of £7.6m on sales of £75m.
A new web press is on the cards for its York site, which currently runs three Manroland Lithoman web presses.
Two years ago, the company acquired Pindar Scarborough out of administration, adding high-quality catalogues to its offering.
"Pindar has proved to be a very successful acquisition for us. It’s an excellent company with very good people and it dovetailed perfectly," Ingram added.
The new Goss Sunday 4000 48pp short-grain press that is about to be installed at the Pindar operation is not included in the £10m as it has already been funded separately.
Installation of the press has been put back slightly because of the hiatus at Goss International in France.
"It was delayed by a few weeks because of the situation at Goss, but it will be in full production by December," Ingram explained.
Ingram said the company had initially been talking to private equity houses about potential investment, when its corporate advisors recommended the firm should look into the BGF offering.
"It’s a good way to get capital, very akin to the old 3i model and that really attracted us."
The BGF’s £2.5bn fund was set up in 2011 by five of the UK’s major banks, with the intention of providing growth capital to firms with turnover of £5m-£100m.
York Mailing was advised by Lupton Fawcett Lee & Priestley, and DC Advisory; the BGF was advised by Grant Thornton and Pinsent Masons.