The deal for the 130-year old business was agreed this afternoon (2 March). Headley Brothers has gone into administration with Steve Adshead and Greg Palfrey of Smith & Williamson appointed as joint administrators.
Newly-created Henry Stone subsidiary Stones Ashford purchased the business out of administration as a pre-packaged going concern.
PrintWeek understands that the Stones team only emerged as potential buyers in the past week.
Henry Stone managing director Richard Walsh told PrintWeek: “It [Headleys] has always been on our radar. It’s a well-established business producing good quality products. It gives us a fantastic offering into the marketplace and takes us into web as well.”
Walsh and the management team acquired the Stones and Wheatons businesses from Polestar’s administrators last year. The deal expands the company’s geographic spread as well as bringing additional capacity, and has again been supported by Thames Valley Capital.
Adshead said he was pleased to secure the sale deal following what had been a protracted process. Smith & Williamson was initially brought in to advise Headleys at the beginning of the year after the company suffered a cash crisis when one of its main paper suppliers reduced credit terms.
“It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster,” he said. “We are glad to find a buyer for a business with a good name and a genuinely skilled workforce.”
In a statement, Headley Brothers managing director Simon Bingham said: “I am delighted that the sale has concluded and with the help and support of Smith & Williamson secured the future of our business as Stones Ashford.
“We can now continue to focus on our clients and their needs as we make plans to move forward.”