Calendars acquired out of administration

Hannah Jordan and Max Goldbart
Thursday, June 1, 2017

Calendars & Diaries of Bristol, which trades as Brunel Promotions and BrunelPrint, has been acquired out of administration by Novercal, a sister company to Rose Calendars.

The deal was officially completed on 26 May for an undisclosed sum, three days after Andrew Beckingham and Siann Huntley of law firm Leonard Curtis, Bristol, were appointed joint administrators.

Novercal was incorporated on 19 May and has the same Colchester address and three directors (Michael Rose, Andrew Clement and Mark Shipley) as Rose listed on Companies House.

Calendars was originally established in 1844 and is now made up of three divisions: calendar, diary and B2B gift producer Brunel Promotions; commercial print arm BrunelPrint; and web-to-print operation brunelone.com. The circa-£5m-turnover business last year claimed to be the first printing firm in England to offer carbon neutral printing across its products at no extra charge.

According to a statement issued to PrintWeek by Rose, circa-62 staff Calendars & Diaries of Bristol's operations will continue to be managed on a day-to-day basis by the existing management team, including general manager Susan Tugman, under the direction of Rose Calendars, which "will work alongside the existing team in Bristol to ensure continuity". 

Rose Calendars is now one of the largest promotional calendar companies in the UK. While it seems for now all staff have been retained, a source toldPrintWeek that "the general feeling is that all staff will stay on this year”.

The statement said: "The acquisition was a positive development for the industry with a well-established company purchasing a strong brand. 

“The market opportunity to further diversify the business means that the long-standing trade and business of the Brunel brand will continue to flourish under the new ownership and provide stability in the market.

“The mutually respectful relationship between Rose of Colchester and Brunel goes back over many years.”

Calendars will remain in its Bristol premises and retain its full calendar and diary manufacturing facilities. It is understood to run three HP Indigos, two Speedmasters, Roland wide-format kit and a range of finishing equipment, including a Motioncutter laser finisher installed in late 2014.

The statement went on to say: “This acquisition has arisen as a result of the changing market in which we are operating, and through our on-going strategy to diversify and grow the business. It also comes at a time when Brunel have expanded their offering with enhanced premium covers, which will continue to be backed by the investment from Novercal.”

Calendar’s latest set of accounts filed on Companies House reveal that pre-tax profits fell sharply from £145,970 in 2014 to a loss of £7,846 in the 12 months to 31 December 2015, while operating profit fell from £196,973 in 2014 to £74,264 and creditors were owed £2.37m, including £555,834 to trade creditors. Turnover fell modestly from £5.05m to £4.86m during the same period.  

According to its 2015 annual filing the business employed around 62 staff during the year, with 31 in its production department, nine in distribution and 22 in admin. 

Neither Calendars’ general manage Susan Tugman nor former commercial print director John Tugman, who PrintWeek understands has left the business, were available for comment.

PrintWeek also contacted the administrators for clarification on certain points but they chose to provide no additional comment. 

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