ProCo purchases full stake in Concept

Marketing services printer ProCo has acquired Stansted-based Concept Communications Group outright for an undisclosed fee.

The takeover comes 18 months after ProCo bought a 50% stake in the company. Both companies will now be referred to as ProCo.

ProCo chief executive Jon Bailey said the deal had been in the pipeline for quite a while and it was the people at Concept who had been the driving force behind the “strategic acquisition”.

Bailey said: “We wanted to make sure we didn’t have a ‘them and us’ attitude and make sure we worked together remembering what was important to the clients. It has gone really well, bringing the team under the ProCo wings, and it is nice to have the kind of push from their side to make the full jump.”

Concept will continue to be based in Stansted, Essex, as the Sheffield-based ProCo looks to continue expanding into the southern market. Giles Bowes, managing director of Concept, will become managing director of ProCo and Bailey will take up the new role of group chief executive. No other staff restructuring is planned and all staff will remain with the company.

Bailey added: “We have realised what works and what does not. We have understood the skills of both companies. What we probably underestimated was the value of bringing a smaller business into our business. It reminded us how to be fleet of foot.”

ProCo employs 108 staff at its Sheffield office and production site. It runs one HP Indigo 10000 digital press and one HP Indigo 7500 digital press, two Manroland B2 litho presses and two Agfa Anapurna wide-format printers. 

It does mainly commercial printing, focusing on direct mail and personalisation, along with building bespoke workflows for clients. It has 10 in-house programmers working on these jobs. 

Concept deals with the automated communications and marketing side of the business and employs 21 staff. It has two digital presses in the Stansted office, an HP Indigo 7800 and an HP Indigo 7000, which will remain there. 

Bailey said the two companies intend to increase production in the future. “We have spent a time integrating systems and now have totally integrated workflow management. We can now produce jobs with visibility on any device on any site.”


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