Pre-pack sale will conclude by 28 May

Buyer secured as Mailbox DM files NOI

Operations will continue as normal at the Mailbox DM site
Operations will continue as normal at the Mailbox DM site

Mailbox DM has found a buyer after the direct mail specialist filed a Notice of Intention to Appoint Administrators (NOI) earlier this week.

The Leicester-based business lodged the NOI with the court on Monday (20 May) through Excello Law.

Mailbox DM, which had a turnover of £2.3m for 2023, told Printweek that, after “reasonable trading” for the 18 months or so following the Covid pandemic, 2023 brought various challenges.

Two large bads debts were absorbed early in the year, followed by the loss of a significant client and a general reduction in volumes across the board.

In June 2023 it encountered a 300% increase in electricity costs, which, while significantly countered by measures such as two large solar/battery installations, severely impacted the business.

Cost increases continued to pressure the company, from machine running costs, to business rates and labour.

The period between November 2023 and February 2024 brought particularly low demand and margin pressure, putting the company’s working capital under further strain.

Options were explored during early 2024, with the decision taken to seek a buyer. The business said the only prerequisite was to maintain operations and employment at the Leicester site.

Discussions were held with various parties and the business was then publicly marketed under NDA for a period of seven days, with multiple parties showing interest. 22 NDAs and expressions of interest were returned and heads of terms were ultimately agreed with DMC Encore last Friday (17 May).

Completely unconnected to Mailbox or its directors, Northampton-based DMC Encore was established in 1996 and is headed up by director and owner Kieron Peto, who has 30 years’ industry experience. He spent 10 years running the BCQ mailing site before joining DMC Encore in 2020.

DMC Encore is an end-to-end fulfilment, mailing, and logistics specialist and its Northampton site will remain open, trading under its existing brand.

All of Mailbox DM’s 17 staff will be transferred over and remain with the company and there will be no redundancies as part of this process. Employees were informed of the situation on Monday this week and the process of informing clients and suppliers started at the same time and has continued throughout this week.

100% of the trade and assets of Mailbox DM will be sold to DMC Encore and the pre-pack sale is set to conclude by Tuesday (28 May).

Mailbox DM director David Wright will fulfil a consultant role within DMC Encore for a six-month handover period while Mailbox DM’s co-owner, Peter Wood, is leaving the business to pursue opportunities outside of the industry.

Wright told Printweek Mailbox DM’s factory has been 100% operational throughout the entire process and there has been no impact to operations or client work or deadlines. He added clients had been 100% supportive throughout.

Operations will continue next week as normal and all future purchase orders and schedules will be honoured. The business will retain all its existing services, email addresses, phone numbers, and production capabilities and will continue to operate under its Mailbox brand name.

“After an immensely challenging few months, I’m excited to hand over to Kieron next week knowing that the company has a future. He brings with him a wealth of experience, knowledge, ambition and ideas. Exactly what is needed,” Wright told Printweek.

“It’s hard to express my gratitude to the staff and clients over the last few weeks. The team here has been unfaltering under exceptionally challenging circumstances, the support from clients incredible. Absolutely blown away. I wish Kieron the best of luck.”

Mailbox DM was previously the direct mail operation of Taylor Bloxham Group, which went into administration in February 2020. 21 jobs were saved at the time when Wright and Wood bought the trading name, intellectual property and assets of the division and set up the new Mailbox DM business as 50:50 shareholders.

The business operates Ricoh cutsheet and Nipson continuous-feed printers as well as Buhrs, Sitma and CMC enclosing kit.