Timing was right for both parties

Brown Knight and Truscott confirms BLP takeover

Significant opportunity to provide new and additional services to existing client base

Brown Knight and Truscott Holdings (BKT) has expanded into the North East with the acquisition of BLP (Northern).

The Brown Knight and Truscott business dates back to 1825 and provides a range of print-related services including packaging, contract packing and direct mail.

BLP was established 40 years ago. Its specialties include printed packaging, co-packing, and print and mailing. It was Printweek’s Company of the Year in the year 2000.  

BKT managing director Denis Corcoran told Printweek that the two firms had formed a connection having worked together previously.

“I’ve been aware of BLP for many years and have worked alongside them on client framework agreements on several occasions, so it is a business that I know well and had a lot of respect for,” he explained.

“As is often the case in life, timing is everything and at the point where we were looking for routes to expand our business, the shareholders of BLP were open to the idea of a sale as they were starting to look at options for a retirement exit.”

Discussions started just under a year ago and the deal was completed over the summer.

BLP operates out of a 5,110sqm facility in Newcastle upon Tyne, and production has been consolidated at that site.

“A reallocation of the groups manufacturing requirements took place during Q3 from BKTH to the BLP site in Newcastle, post which, all production activities for the combined business will take place in Newcastle, while sales, marketing and client support functions for BKT clients will continue to be managed from offices in Tunbridge Wells and London Waterloo,” Corcoran added.

He said that while the two businesses operated in similar sectors, the technical capabilities of each operation were “quite different and therefore provide a significant opportunity to provide new and additional services to the client base of the other”, which includes a raft of blue-chip clients.

“The new group will employ 130 skilled individuals and will achieve combined sales of approximately £15m in 2024 with forecasted growth year on year thereafter,” he said.

The BLP plant list includes six-colour B1 litho presses, B1 automatic die-cutting units, high speed carton folding/gluing lines, and a range of digital printing kit, intelligent mailing capabilities and certified vertical form fill and seal (VFFS) bagging lines.

This setup has been complemented with the addition of BKT’s bespoke intelligent fulfilment lines.

“The site at BLP is also substantially larger than the Kent location, making it the logical choice to house the combined activities of both businesses,” Corcoran added.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.