Second acquisition in as many months

Remous Group acquires Wincanton Digital Print in pre-pack

Alan Bunter: I want a lasting future for Wells
Alan Bunter: there is a crossover between the two businesses

Remous Group has bought Wincanton Digital Print out of administration in a pre-pack deal, just over a month after it acquired Wells Printing in a similar deal.

Julie Palmer and Andrew Hook, partners at Begbies Traynor in Salisbury, were appointed as joint administrators to Somerset-based Wincanton Digital Print Ltd on 31 January after it had experienced challenging trading conditions following the pandemic.

On the same day, the administrators oversaw a pre-packaged sale of the company to Wincanton Creative Print Ltd, an acquisition vehicle of the Remous Group.

16 jobs were preserved as a result of the deal – representing all of the company’s staff apart from previous owner Steve Taylor and his daughter, who have moved on according to Alan Bunter, managing director of Remous.

The Wincanton name and branding will be retained, as will its leased site, where the company’s staff will remain based. Wincanton’s machinery, which includes a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75-4 LE-UV press, an Agfa Anapurna wide-format printer, Ricoh digital kit, a Zünd cutter, and a raft of other finishing kit, was also included in the deal and will all be retained.

The production manager at Wincanton will remain in place to oversee day-to-day production at the company, while other business management and finance will now be headed up by Remous Group’s management team.

The deal has increased Remous Group’s overall headcount to around 44, although turnover was not specified.

Bunter said: “Wincanton Print has been a brand synonymous with print in the South West for over 40 years, but the landscape has changed since Covid and we are seeing consolidation throughout the industry.

“I am pleased we have been able to save the jobs of the skilled team and bring them into the Remous Group of companies, they have a great reputation in commercial and wide-format print with quick turnaround times.

“This complements our other production facility in Sherborne, with the changes we are making we expect to see it flourish for years to come.”

Speaking to Printweek today (19 February), Bunter added: “We are two different businesses – they are very much focused on commercial print and wide-format printing, which is something that we probably do less of.

“And they’ve certainly got clients with an appetite for packaging, which we can produce here, so there is a crossover there where some jobs will be done over there and some in Sherborne. It’s all about getting the right type of work in the right type of building, so jobs will be allocated based on who is the most efficient at producing them.”

This latest insolvency marks the second for Wincanton in less than four years.

Wincanton Digital Print Ltd had been formed in July 2020 by Charlotte Taylor and Stephen Taylor, who were the company secretary and director respectively of Wincanton Print Company. In November that year, Wincanton Print Company Ltd went into administration after being forced to cease operations due to government pandemic restrictions.

Also overseen by Begbies Traynor, the business was sold at the time in a pre-pack deal to Wincanton Digital Print Ltd.

Begbies Traynor said a rescue package at the time had enabled the business to relaunch operations with the support of creditors. However, a more recent downturn in sales, combined with the impact of rising interest rates on its debt, saw the directors seek insolvency advice.

Partner and joint administrator Andrew Hook said: “Although this business has encountered a series of financial challenges since the pandemic, it is clear that it has the ability to trade profitably with new backing.

“Through a pre-packaged sale, we have been able to allow the business to escape the burden of historic debts while maximising the value for creditors. We’re confident that the firm is now on a strong footing from which to grow.”

Remous Group separately bought litho firm Wells Printing out of administration in a pre-pack deal on 21 December.