Includes specialist machinery not frequently seen for sale

Mega sale of Communisis kit imminent

Part of the enormous and complex Scitex line. Image: NCM Auctions
Part of the enormous and complex Scitex line. Image: NCM Auctions

Hundreds of items of printing, post-press and ancillary kit from the shuttered Communisis sites in Leeds and Liverpool will go up for auction later this month.

The equipment from the printing and fulfilment operations includes a host of specialist machinery that had been used by Communisis for the production of secure products including chequebooks, polling cards and financial documents.

The sale is being handled by NCM Auctions, with the auctions taking place on 24 and 25 April.

The Leeds sale includes a huge Scitex inkjet personalisation line that was state-of-the-art at the time of installation. It has Kodak Versamark heads and a 15-part finishing system.

Also included in more than 260 lots at Leeds are a HP T300 high-speed colour inkjet web press, a 1995 Manroland Rotoman six-unit web offset press, narrow web presses from Drent and Goebel, and a six-colour Manroland 700 B1 sheetfed press.

Multiple small-format Heidelberg sheetfed presses also form part of the sale.

The sale at the Liverpool site in Speke encompasses just under 330 lots and includes a large amount of warehousing items including multiple lots of boltless pallet racking bays, Daifuku level carts, safety barriers, office furniture, shipping containers, compressors, pump trucks, and modular office and mezzanine structures.

A small amount of finishing kit also remains in Speke.

Emma Humble, head of partnerships for NCM Auctions, said there was considerable interest from potential buyers in the UK and from overseas. She said: “This sale for Communisis is a large project across multiple sites and brings a lot of infrequent and specialist machinery to the market.

“Our circular approach helps to extend the life cycle of this equipment. It means there are hundreds of pieces of machinery across these sales that will go on to be used by a range of businesses, from start-ups and smaller organisations to those in the print industry who understand the production capacity and quality of the end product they can achieve with this combination of print and finishing equipment.”

Potential bidders should contact NCM to arrange viewings, which are by appointment only.

Communisis was put up for sale in spring 2023 by its US parent OSG, but the process dragged on and large parts of the operation ended up going into administration, with some 640 jobs lost.

Administrators from Interpath Advisory were appointed at Communisis Ltd, Communisis UK Ltd, Communisis Digital Ltd and Communisis Data Intelligence Ltd on 28 December 2023.

The Communisis Brand Deployment business (which did not go into administration), and certain assets of the Customer Experience print wing were sold to Paragon Customer Communications, which trades as Paragon.