Acquisitions, investments, in solvencies: PrintWeek's review of the year
By PrintWeek newsdesk Thursday, 13 December 2012
The year started and ended with consolidation in the web offset sector, but in the intervening 12 months, print had much to cheer about
BGP, Polestar and Wyndeham Group all announced redundancies... Kodak and its US subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection... Simpson Group entered into a 30-day consultation with employees at its Heathrow facility... Benson Group was sold to its management... AlphaGraphics franchise was sold to US private equity firm Blackstreet Capital... Heidelberg announced it would cut 2,000 jobs worldwide... DS Smith launched a £1.4bn reverse takeover bid for SCA’s packaging division...
Blue Printing Group went into administration, with the exception of its web offset plant, blaming a lack of due diligence in its acquisition of Aldridge Print Group... Langley Holdings bought Manroland’s sheetfed arm while Possehl Group bought its web division... Bezier appointed print outsider James Buckley as chief executive... Bridgeshire Packaging installed the world’s first HP Scitex FB7600... Presstek’s Jeff Jacobson joined Xerox as president of its graphics division...
Communisis spent £10m on two HP T400s... DG3 Europe bought Sterling Financial Print’s manufacturing facility... Langley Holdings bought Manroland GB’s insolvent sheetfed arm as Possehl acquired its web business... Icon’s parent company Chime Communications bought McKenzie Clark... Ideal Printers and PrintMailers merged to form Seebridge Media... Polestar withdrew plans to close its Colchester plant... HP merged its print and PC divisions... St Ives bought a 24% stake in mobile solutions provider Sponge...
Rokus van Iperen was named Canon EMEA chief executive... H&H Group bought Cypher Digital... Pelican Press was sold in a £20,000 pre-pack... Havelock Europa sold Showcard Print in a £15.3m MBO... Whitewater Creative Services and Involve Marketing Agency both closed... Berforts Group and Information Press merged to form a £10m B1 litho and digital business... Manroland Web Systems and Manroland Sheetfed formed a global sales and services alliance... Benny Landa unveiled Nanography and announced partnerships with Komori and Manroland Sheetfed…
Drupa 2012 opened in Düsseldorf, with nanographic print technology the star attraction... Heidelberg became the latest litho manufacturer to announce a partnership with Landa Corporation… Anton Group signed a £14m deal including three Speedmaster XL 106s... Communisis announced the acquisitions of Kieon and Yomego for £1.1m... Buxton Press bought two Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106s in a £7m deal... Unite called for a 3.6% national pay rise... Polestar mulled a possible web offset supersite... 1st Byte, Elanders, Firstan and Lexon Group signed up to be early adopters of the Landa nanographic presses…
Paperhat bought majority stakes in FTP Digital and Reputation by Design... Cambridge University Press outsourced its European print to MPG... Domino took ownership of Graph-Tech in a deal worth up to £19.1m and PostJet for an initial €6.5m... Agfa and HP said they would not exhibit at Ipex 2014... Heidelberg announced a €229m pre-tax loss in its full year results... Communisis acquired a 49% stake in The Garden Marketing... US-based Crowd Fusion acquired FMG subsidiary Ceros... Banner Managed Communication was awarded a £10m contract by Hastings Direct...
The administrators report for Manroland GB revealed the sheetfed arm was sold for £645,131 and the web arm for £40,412... St Ives announced the closure of St Ives Direct Leeds... News International paid Johnston Press £30m to terminate its long-term printing contract... Cardiff-based large-format printer Gardners was bought out of administration by two of its directors... Unite members at Paragon UK walked out in a row over pay and conditions... Heidelberg chief executive Bernhard Schreier revealed plans to step down at the end of the year... Paperlinx chief executive Toby Marchant announced he was leaving the company...
C3 Imaging was acquired by Zenith Print and Packaging and Zenith Media owner John Mooney... Real Digital announced a 296% increase in pre-tax profit in its 2011 accounts... Paramount Printers acquired its rival City Litho in a six-figure deal... Kodak posted a second quarter pre-tax loss of $300m (£193m)... Alderson Print Group’s web division, ABP Web, went into administration with the loss of 90 jobs... Unite members at Gomer Press planned a series of strikes... Alexir Partnership created 25 new jobs and announced record year-end sales of £23m... Heidelberg’s decision to withdraw from Ipex 2014 raised worries of others following suit... Informa rebranded Northprint, North Print & Pack...
Administrators Duff & Phelps were appointed to all Alderson Print Group trading divisions... Precision Printing installed the UK’s first HP Indigo 10000 at its Barking facility... Kodak announced a further 1,000 job cuts, including that of chief operating officer Phil Faraci, as it postponed its patent sale indefinitely... HH Global secured a £9m contract with the Post Office... Hawthornes of Nottingham was placed in creditors voluntary liquidation... The BPIF secured £1.1m in government funding to fund 200 "degree-like" print qualifications... BGP announced a £9m contract with Dennis Publishing as parent Goodhead Group more than halved its operating loss to £2.7m... Eclipse completed its buyout of 4DM... Johnston Press announced the closure of its Sunderland plant... HSW Print went into administration with debts of £850,000... Contract newspaper printer Newsfax was placed into administration…
The controversial HSE cost-recovery scheme, Fee for Intervention, came into force... DST Output UK embarked on a multimillion-pound equipment upgrade with an order for a Kodak Prosper 5000XL... Drupa director Manual Mataré revealed his recommendation that the show be moved to a three-year cycle... Stephens & George secured a £3m extension to its print contract with Haymarket Media Group... Landa Corporation chairman Benny Landa embarked on an investment round that valued the business at $1bn (£63m)... RR Donnelley was blamed for prematurely publishing Google’s third-quarter results... Real Digital International picked up the Company of the Year gong at the PrintWeek Awards... David Holland stepped down as Goodhead Group chief executive... Tangent Communications announced its £10m acquisition of Goodprint UK... ING Lease announced its exit from the UK asset finance market...
Steve Parish announced he was leaving Tag Worldwide... Drupa backed down on its proposed move to a three-year cycle... Speculation mounted that Sir John Madejski was to sell Goodhead Group... Centrical Technologies, a new company set up by Neil Alderson, starting trading on the former Alderson Print Group site... Pensord invested £4m in the UK’s first Speedmaster XL 106 long perfector... More than 500 delegates attended the inaugural meeting of Dscoop EMEA... Konica Minolta announced its acquisition of Charterhouse PM... EFI bought rival MIS developer Technique... Contego Packaging sold its cartons business to Graphic Packaging for £81m... RCS installed the world’s first Screen Truepress Jet SX... Paperlinx slashed 200 UK roles as part of a move to centralise its sales operations...
The capital allowance was raised from £25,000 to £250,000 in the Autumn Statement… Polestar acquired Goodhead Group in a pre-pack deal… Howard Hunt rounded off a £3.5m 12-month spend with eight Kodak Versamark DH9100s… MPG planned to shed 64 staff in Bodmin and centralise its litho printing in Cambridge… Net lending across the six banks that borrowed from the Funding for Lending scheme actually fell £1.1bn in the third quarter… Blackhammer was placed in administration… ESP achieved 498 makereadies and 2.1m impressions in a 168-hour week… Headley Brothers bought a Goss M-600 as York Mailing invested in a Sunday 4000 from the same manufacturer… Océ and TIS won a £17.5m Aegon contract…
- This article is an abbreviated version of the 2012 Review from the Top 500. You can get your copy by visiting www.printweek.com/top500offer or by calling 020 8267 8121.
Chief executive, St Ives
"The Olympics were a fairly defining moment in 2012. The opening ceremony was a watershed for UK perception and sentiment that has contributed to us moving forward as an economy and we hope that will continue. It changed the perception of what we’re capable of as an economy and started the gradual reversal of declining confidence in the UK. Hopefully that confidence will continue now into 2013 and beyond."
Managing director, Ottimo Digital
"Without a doubt, the most exciting development of 2012 was the chancellor’s decision in the Autumn Statement to temporarily increase the annual investment allowance for companies from £25,000 to £250,000 for the next two years. It starts in January so it should be hugely beneficial to the print industry as a whole in 2013 given its capital and plant intensive nature. We’re planning to make capital investments in new print machinery in the first quarter of 2013, so this will offer a huge strategic benefit."
National officer, Unite
"What’s really struck me has been the similarity between the start of the year and the end of the year. We had 80 redundancies at Wyndeham, the proposed closure of Polestar Colchester and BGP enforcing a 20% wage cut. That was all on 6 January and now all three are in the news again with Polestar’s acquisition of BGP and the inevitable changes that will result from that, plus the proposed changes at Wyndeham. Overcapacity has been the biggest problem for print and that is now being dealt with, albeit severely."
Chair, UK Design and Print Network
"One of the biggest factors affecting print is the price of raw materials and consumables such as paper, ink and plates, so the ever increasing prices of these throughout the year and their knock-on effect is really tough. Elsewhere, the Autumn Statement struck a real blow by announcing that austerity measures will be extended to 2017/18. There are so many positives going on in print, especially from small businesses, that it’s about time we celebrated instead of focussing on the doom and gloom."
The biggest news of 2012 is the continuing decline in demand for the paper industry and the ever present threat of bad debts. There was an easing of bad debts in the second quarter but we’ve seen some major print groups go bust. Goodhead Group’s capacity potentially being taken out of the market by Polestar is a real worry. My members will be amongst the unsecured creditors, and they are planning on getting nothing back from it, which is a hell of a hit. And that is only one of a series of bad debts throughout 2012."
Managing director, Webmart
"The defining moment was BGP being taken over by Polestar, creating a duopoly within long run web offset. That changed the dynamic in that marketplace. Secondly, the rise of digital affects everything. People are actually starting to use it properly and want their print provider to offer data services. That’s a massive change. There is a growing realisation that your traditional print provider can offer a much more integrated approach and unless you do that, you are going down a blind alley."
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