Wyndeham parent buys Southernprint to create 100m group

Wyndeham Press Group owner Walstead investments has acquired web offset rival Southernprint from Newsquest Media Group.

The deal, which has been the cause of much speculation, was finally signed yesterday afternoon (Monday, 27 July) and will create a group with sales of more than £100m, employing 900 plus staff.

"We will now work on the opportunity to combine Southernprint and Wyndeham into the leading and most focussed web offset and sheet-fed printer of magazines and commercial publications in the UK," said Wyndeham chief executive Paul Utting, who along with group finance director Andy Page, has been appointed to the Southernprint board.

Charles Jarrold, managing director at Southernprint, remains in his role and has joined the board of Wyndeham.

The deal was backed by Leumi ABL, and included £2m from Cigala: a limited liability partnership headed by Walstead directors Mark Scanlon, Richard Fookes and Stephen Hargrave.

Scanlon, chairman of Walstead, said: "This sector has been and continues to be ripe for consolidation. There are just too many unprofitable printers with spare capacity chasing diminishing volumes of work.

"I anticipate there will be more deals like this resulting in fewer but larger players in the web offset market. We expect Walstead to play a significant part in the evolution of the sector."

For more details and industry reaction, see this Friday's issue of PrintWeek.

Read associate editor Jo Francis's blog on the shock announcement.