Positive partners with Colouration

Richard Stuart-Turner
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Positive Images UK and Colouration have partnered to form a new larger print group.

The deal, which has seen Positive managing director Danny Sullivan and Colouration managing director Tony Dennington both become shareholders of each other's companies, was finalised earlier this month.

Colouration had been working out of leased premises in Earlsfield and has now moved four miles across into a new 930sqm site next door to Positive’s existing factory and head office in Mitcham, Surrey, boosting the group’s combined space to 3,250sqm.

Positive, which turned 25 last August, provides a range of design, print, direct mail and marketing services for clients in the retail, media, financial, charity, cosmetics and health and wellbeing sectors.

Large-format specialist Colouration, which was established in 2001, offers services including creative design, print, cardboard engineering, acrylic fabrication, site builds, media rollouts and installation to the beauty, fragrance, retail and events industries.

Dennington told PrintWeek the two firms had started talking about coming together in December last year.

“We looked to see what our synergies were like and what the benefits would be for both companies and to our client base and we quickly discovered that there were complementary services that we could both offer to our individual clients. We are a stronger combined force than we are as two single companies, so it just made a lot of sense.

“In Earlsfield we were working in six single-user units that we’d knocked through but it was a bit of a rabbit warren, with six staircases, six front doors, six reception areas and loads of mezzanine area, which isn’t ideal for a lot of our large-format print equipment through weight and size. What we’ve moved into is a purpose-built open plan industrial unit that’s far more efficient.”

Both the Positive and Colouration brands and corporate identities will be retained and the businesses will continue to operate autonomously but will be able to offer each other’s additional services to clients.

“We’ve really just pushed the two companies together and it’s business as usual for both, but we can bang our heads together for ideas – Danny and myself have been talking closely about how we can progress the business as a combined unit,” said Dennington.

All but one of Colouration’s 28 staff have moved across to Mitcham, making a group headcount of 44, while with Colouration’s circa-£3.5m turnover the combined venture is expecting sales of £5.5m for this year.

Kit that Colouration has moved across to the site includes a Canon Océ Arizona flatbed printer, a Mimaki roll-to-roll printer and finishing kit from Zünd, Esko and Wohlenberg among others.

Positive, meanwhile, operates a recently installed Ricoh Pro C9210, an HP Indigo 5500, a five-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 and two older Heidelberg litho presses, four Roland DG wide-format printers and a wide array of direct mail and finishing kit.

Close Brothers Asset Finance provided the advance required to facilitate the deal. The firm’s relationship manager Jordan Pocock said: “Not only will this partnership secure the futures of a large number of loyal employees, but it will broaden their service proposition, making them more dynamic, flexible and resilient.”

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