Gutenberg Networks has formed a joint venture partnership with Paperhat, ahead of a possible takeover of the London-based print manager.
The move comes just weeks after the Omnicom Group subsidiary announced the expansion of its mainland European production network into the UK (PrintWeek, 24 September).
Jon Goulding, chief executive of Gutenberg Networks UK, said that the production network had needed to "scale up quickly" to take advantage of opportunities in the market.
"We could see the tidal wave was coming in terms of client wins and that the opportunity was there now, so we wanted to scale up really fast to meet that," he added.
"It was important to get the right kind of partner – someone that could really help leverage some of Gutenberg Networks’ global clients – and Paperhat has shown that it can do that."
Paperhat chief executive Tim Peppiatt described the deal as "a true meeting of minds and services" and added that the two companies had already won "substantial business together".
"We’ve picked up a £400,000 piece of print management business and we’re talking to a customer of Gutenberg Network’s Paris office about a significant repro contract," he said.
"In addition, we’ve already put work into Gutenberg Networks on a national and international basis, so we know we can add incremental value back into their business."
The deal gives the two firms’ 77 strong combined client list access to a broader range of production managed services and a supplier network spanning 23 countries through a single contact point.
Goulding said that the expansion of Gutenberg Networks was "quite a big play for Omnicom on a global basis" and that it would accelerate over the next 18–24 months.
However, he stressed that this would not necessarily result in further acquisitions. "We’re absolutely about production management for very big clients, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re interested in owning every entity in the supply chain," he said.
"We’re very happy to have independent production partners in addition to our own partly owned and wholly owned businesses."