Collapsed commercial print and direct mail business Print Logic has been bought out of administration in a deal that signals the return of a leading figure in the direct mail and transactional print market.
The £4m-turnover Marden-based business, which fell into administration on 31 March, was bought by a joint venture headed by former Dsicmm chief executive and DST Output executive vice-president Yolanda Noble and Millnet founder Marcus Craggs on 11 April.
“I still think there’s longevity in the sector and there has been a lot of rationalising among the big players that are out there fighting for big [DM and transactional] contracts. And I think that there are lot of smaller clients out there than can be serviced by a smaller business,” said Noble, chief executive of the new business.
“Clients have been telling me to do this again, and that’s partly what encouraged me to get back into print. But this is just the starting block; I’m not going to go for £100m again, but I want to get on a bigger scale than we’re currently on, but certainly not a £100m monster.”
She said the business had the opportunity to grow to £7m-£8m within its current set-up, although she would be looking at M&A-driven growth as well as organic growth further down the line “if the right acquisition same along”.
“I’m absolutely up for that – I love buying businesses,” she said.
The new business, Millnet Document Solutions (MDS) was incorporated on 9 April, with Noble and Craggs equal partners.
MDS bought the business and assets of Print Logic, securing the jobs of the firm’s 24 staff – all of whom will remain.
“We have a great team there; they’re just a bit battered after everything they’ve been through,” said Noble.
Noble: return to print
While Noble said there were clear synergies between MDS and Millnet, MDS will be run as a separate business from £7.6m-turnover Millnet, which provides copy and scan, electronic discovery, e-disclosure and e-document services to the legal, financial and corporate sectors.
According to Noble, Millnet already has some lasering and enclosing capabilities at its London site. “So this represents a good opportunity to move that capability out of that environment into a full production environment, and that’s apart of what attracted Marcus into doing this deal with me,” she said.
MDS has a 12-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster SM102, four CMC enclosing lines as well as raft of finishing kit; the firm also rents access to a six-colour B1 Speedmaster and five-colour B2. It also has Xerox and Konica Minolta digital presses.
Noble said the firm would also look at enhancing its mailing lines with inkjet capabilities and also investing in a new colour digital production press in the near future.
“In some ways, we’re like a mini DST – just very mini,” she said, adding that MDS would gradually refocus its business on print and mail financial services and DM work.
Noble stepped down from DST Output in the summer of 2012 and has for the past two years been focusing on business interests outside of print and small business mentoring.
She was chief executive of circa £80m turnover Dsicmm for three years following the merger of her acquisitive business Corporate Mailing Matters CMM with rival Direct Solutions International (DSI) in the spring of 2007. The group then went on to buy Manchester-based DM outfit K2 six-months later.
In the summer of 2010, however, after Dsicmm struggled to refinance in the credit crunch, it was itself bought by US-based DST Systems and merged with its Bristol-based DST Output business to create IOS, which later became DST Output following its acquisition of Lateral Group to create a £150m business.