Baird Group exits print with sale of Thanet Press

Steven Kiernan
Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Baird Group, headed up by former BPIF president Roy Bailie, has ended its interests in the printing industry following the sale of Thanet Press.

Phillip Moore, owner of Kent-based print and publishing company Graham Cummings Group, acquired Thanet Press for an undisclosed on Monday following six weeks of negotiations.

Baird Group chief executive Kenneth Lindsay told PrintWeek that it was the culmination of an eight-year strategy to move away from print.

The group once included packaging company MSO Cleland, book printer Biddles, and printer W&G Baird, which is now a standalone company. It still has a small digital printing operation.

Thanet Press, which is based one mile from Graham Cummings, will continue to operate as an independent company, though with a group sales model, said Moore.

"We will look to rebrand the whole group sometime in 2010 and both will come under one umbrella," he added.

Graham Cummings' existing print arm, Westwood Press, focuses on mono diary work. Moore said the acquisition would add in-house colour capacity for full-colour diaries, magazine work and high-end brochures.

Moore added that £6.5m-turnover Thanet Press brought with it "quality, expertise, history and potential".

"Existing clients now require colour in their publications. We currently publish more than 10 glossy magazines with another 10 planned to launch this year," he said.

The deal takes the combined B1 group to a £10m turnover and around 200 staff.

Also see:
Thanet Press handed cash grant to help it handle pharmaceutical work


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