Debenhams seeks buyer for print wing

Debenhams’ in-house printing operation Magenta has been put up for sale as part of a restructure at the struggling retailer.

The department store group issued its third profits warning this year last month, and said that it planned to carry out a strategic review of non-core assets.

A Debenhams spokesperson told PrintWeek: “As part of the implementation of the Debenhams Redesigned strategy a review of Magenta, our in-house print division has been undertaken. The outcome of this review and our intention to simplify our operations has resulted in a decision to actively pursue a buyer for the business, which produces collateral for Debenhams and a number of external clients.”

Debenhams is unusual in having its own printing facilities. Magenta operates out of a 5,600sqm facility in Taunton and employs 73 staff. PrintWeek understands that it produces around £10m of work a year for Debenhams, and the division also prints promotions for a number of third-party brands that are sold in Debenhams stores.

The operation runs a raft of digital and conventional printing equipment, including multiple Durst large-format printers, Xerox digital printing kit and Esko cutting tables. It also has a five-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster CX102 with coater.

Magenta produces around a million square metres of output a year, including 2D and 3D displays, textile graphics, large-format banners, and marketing literature. The focus at the business has been on the production of high-quality graphics with fast turnaround times.

Magenta Print & Display is a trading name of Debenhams plc, and the division does not file separate accounts.

The UK’s display printing sector has already seen two changes of ownership this year, with an MBO at Simpson Group in February, and the sale of the £100m-plus turnover St Ives large-format printing businesses to SelmerBridge in March.