Tradeprint acquired by Cimpress

Global print-on-demand giant Cimpress has established its first UK manufacturing base with the acquisition of PrintWeek Company of the Year Tradeprint.

Cimpress is the parent company of Vistaprint, and has been active on the acquisition trail in Europe over the past 16 months. It acquired Italy’s Pixartprinting last year, and has already made three acquisitions in 2015, buying a majority stake in France’s Exaprint, and then taking over Austria’s Druck und Handelsgesellschaft. 

It most recently acquired French firm FL Print, a web-to-print start-up business that trades as Easyflyer.

Dundee-based Tradeprint will sit in the same division as these brands, which focus on serving the trade printing and professional graphics markets. It too will retain its own brand.

Cimpress president and chief executive Robert Keane said that he believed that speed was “one of the next frontiers” in the trade printing business, and praised Tradeprint’s rapid-turnaround offering based on same-day production and next-day delivery.

“That is an incredibly valuable service to resellers who are usually operating under very tight deadlines,” he said.

Tradeprint owner Paul Anderson said the two parties had been in discussions for several months. “After we won the PrintWeek award we were approached by a number of companies, and we were excited about what Cimpress could offer. We could see how their other acquisitions had performed once they'd been acquired and it was all very positive."

Anderson has sold his 100% shareholding in the company to Cimpress. He will step back from day-to-day operations, but will remain with the business on a part-time basis as strategic adviser.

Managing director Rod Scrimgeour and the rest of the management team remain in place.

Scrimgeour said he was “looking forward to delivering even greater value to our customers”.

He said: "We have some capacity in our system as it stands, but we are likely to be expanding our services. The goal is to broaden the range of products we offer by bringing other forms of printing in-house. We want to keep our ideals and bring additional products into that.

"We have low-touch systems, but we've never lost sight of the importance of connecting with customers through high-touch customer support. Customers really want that high-touch service."

The firm currently produces a range of products including flyers, leaflets, business cards, letterheads and posters. It runs two B1 presses: a 10-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL106 and an eight-colour KBA Rapida 106 that was commissioned earlier this year.

Its kit line-up also includes an HP Indigo 5500 digital press and a wide range of in-house finishing equipment.

Cimpress has publicly stated that it plans to invest “hundreds of millions of dollars” over the next five years to develop its proprietary software and production technology, and Tradeprint will now have access to Cimpress’ Mass Customisation Platform technology as part of the expansion of its services.

In the year to 30 June Cimpress’ worldwide sales grew by 18% to $1.5bn (£962m), while sales in Europe jumped 28% to $644m. It produced 82m custom products last year.

Tradeprint is the trading name of Fairprint Distribution. In its most recent financial year, to 31 July 2014, sales at the 77-employee company increased by 20.6% to £9.1m, and it posted an operating profit of £2.1m.

The sale was completed on 31 July. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.