Press will arrive in Easter timeframe

Exclusive: York Media brings mega-web to UK with fresh start-up

An aerial view of the Elvington site taken over by York Media. Image: Google Maps
An aerial view of the Elvington site taken over by York Media. Image: Google Maps

Linda Boyes has sensationally returned to the UK web offset market with a multimillion pound deal to reprise ‘hanger one’ at the former York Mailing site through her new venture York Media – with the start-up helmed by Mike Newbould Junior who is poised to oversee the installation of a highly-specified web press.

Boyes was the European sales director at the then-York Mailing, and spent more than 15 years at the firm before setting up her own print and print procurement business, YM Media, in Latvia in 2016.

YM Media now has web offset sites in Latvia and Poland, with the business turning over €61m (£52m). The operation is overseen by group managing director Martins Komisars.

It has its own logistics and transport operation and serves clients in the commercial retail market across 29 countries.

When YM Group’s web offset division went bust two years ago, Boyes had been interested in starting up the Elvington site again, but Walstead’s deal to buy up all the YM web assets stymied that plan at the time.

Boyes told Printweek she was excited that her plan had now come to fruition, and about the opportunity to bring something positive to the market.

The multimillion-pound investment is being funded from the company's own resources.

“We aim to follow the model set by Mike Newbould Snr, the original founder of York Mailing, which was innovative and very successful at the time.

“I have known and worked with Mike Jnr for many years and we both share the same vision for what we want to achieve; quality, fast turnaround, no nonsense, technology-driven print.”

York Media has sourced a highly specified MAN Lithoman IV 72pp-80pp press from Stibo Complete in Denmark.

Newbould said that with so many heatset web offset presses currently on the market, the new venture had its pick of the best options. He said the Lithoman was in very good condition, and would be the largest heatset web in the UK.

“This press has got a balloon former, twin ribbon decks and five ribbons. It has inline stitching and inline gluing. When I watched it run in Denmark it was doing a 12pp tabloid stitched and endorsed down to a 24pp at 44,000 an hour,” he explained.

“I’ve known Linda for 25 years and we’ve worked together on one or two projects over the years and we know each other very well. I know what she’s good at, she knows what I’m good at and she leaves me to it.”

Newbould, who tried to avert the collapse of YM Group, added: “I’ve seen some good things and obviously some very bad things in this industry. You have to learn from that knowledge. We will not be over-extending ourselves.”

The press is set to arrive around Easter, with the aim of having ink on paper ready for Q3.

The Lithoman is being relocated and reinstalled at the 5,580sqm facility by specialist JanusTech.

Thanks to YM Media’s established client base the press will be able to produce some of the firm’s existing continental workload during its ramp-up phase.

YM Media buys its paper directly from various manufacturers and has a preferred paper supplier arrangement with Palm Paper. This will also extend to the York site.

Simon Morris, managing director business and administration at Palm Paper, commented: “The passion and dedication for the print and paper industry displayed by the dynamic team of YM Media is truly commendable.

“Their innovative and entrepreneurial approach are aligned with our ambition in the graphics market also longer term.

“Palm is honoured to have a unique working partnership with YM Media and as we continue to collaborate and develop our business together, we are excited to witness the success of the new venture York Media.”

The business is likely to employ around 30 eventually.

“I worked with a fantastic team of people at York Mailing,” Boyes added.

“I hope to see the return of a lot of good people at York Media, and that will be nice.”

The original York Mailing business was Printweek's Company of the Year in 2008.