Paragon acquires Paperhat Communications from admin

Paperhat Group has gone into administration and Paragon is set to acquire its communications wing.

It was confirmed to PrintWeek today (14 November) that the trade and assets of £14.5m-turnover Paperhat Communications have been acquired by Paragon and will be integrated into its Graphic Services division, the commercial print wing of the group which also includes its Service Point network of digital print centres and onsite facilities.

Ann Harrington, general manager of Castleford-based Graphic Services subsidiary Print Trade Suppliers, has been appointed by the group to oversee the transition, which is ongoing.

It is understood that all Paperhat Communications employees will transfer in the sale. The communications subsidiary had 24 employees according to accounts made up to 28 February 2017.

Harrington, who continues to work on the integration, declined to comment at this time.

Paragon Group head of marketing Conor Evers said: “Although the business had not been on our radar, we were impressed by the quality of Paperhat’s clients and people, and we are delighted to be taking all Paperhat Communications employees on board.

“Paragon will be working immediately with clients to establish ‘business as usual’ supply and to establish positive future relationships with suppliers.”

Although the administrator has yet to be identified and no documents have been filed with Companies House, Evers confirmed that Paragon will be exclusively buying the Communications operation and that the administrator is still looking to sell all other aspects of the Paperhat group.

Paperhat chief executive Tim Peppiatt had not responded to request for comment at the time of publication.

The group grew rapidly from 2010, in a period described by Peppiatt as “aggressive expansion”, with a number of acquisitions including taking a majority stake in Nirvana CPH in 2016, as well as acquiring Bulgarian digital specialist Despark and Manchester-based CTI Digital in 2015, although M&A activity has ceased in the past couple of years.

Accounts made up to 28 February 2017 indicated a turnover of £26m across Paperhat Group, a decline of 5% on the previous year, and mentioned a “$50m global print management contract” would increase the company’s global presence to 70 countries.