Pureprint buys Imprint Group following BGF investment

Richard Stuart-Turner
Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Uckfield-based digital and litho printer Pureprint has acquired a majority shareholding in Newcastle upon Tyne-based Imprint Group for an undisclosed sum.

The firm has financed the deal with part of its recently announced £5.3m investment from Business Growth Fund (BGF). The move will add wide-format production to Pureprint’s service offerings.

Imprint Group is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of POS and large-format outdoor media. The 24/7 business, which operates from a 7,400sqm production facility, has 100 staff, all of whom have been kept on. It has increased its turnover from around £7.4m in 2012 to around £10m this year.

In the past five years Imprint has invested more than £5m in new technology, staff and premises. In September it became the first printer in the UK to install both the Inca Onset S50i and the Onset R40i as part of a near £2m upgrade to its wide-format digital print capability.

Pureprint director Richard Owers said: “We handle quite a lot of wide-format work for our customers and we’ve been looking to add that to our portfolio for a few years now. This opportunity developed and was a better solution for us than starting from the beginning.

“Imprint is a very good business and one we know well because we’ve used it ourselves and worked with it before on a number of projects. We see it as an added bonus that its location gives us some geographical spread as well.

“We’re looking forward to offering Imprint's really first-class offering to our existing client base and seeing what the rest of the group can offer to its client base. By offering a broader more diversified service to existing customers we should see a natural growth.”

Imprint has based its business growth on internationally accredited management standards, as Pureprint has, and works to ISO 9001, ISO 12647 and ISO 14001. Both businesses work closely with leading retailers who are increasingly looking for the highest environmental standards in their supply chain.

Dave Bullivant and Paul Newton, joint managing directors at Imprint, said: “We specialise in high-quality POS print, offering stringent colour management standards, bespoke online print management solutions, creative expertise and ISO 14001 environmental accreditation.

“We will be a great fit with the Pureprint business as we understand its markets and it understands ours. This is two good businesses coming together and we are looking forward to an exciting future together.

“Our business now is not just about POS and large-format as most of our clients have other production requirements as well. We are ideally placed to offer them the full range of marketing collateral and this has been driving our growth in recent years. Now with the extensive range of production facilities that Pureprint has we will be able to enhance our offering even more.”

Pureprint chief executive Mark Handford added: “As well as its high production standards I have been very impressed with Imprint’s IT innovations and its collaboration with the University of Sunderland through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership, a programme designed to provide businesses with access to university expertise.

“Pureprint is always looking for innovation and new ideas and Imprint has a good track record with this. We are looking forward to 2015 and with this acquisition the year has got off to a very positive start.”

Pureprint has experienced rapid growth in recent years, with revenue growing from £17m in 2009 to over £40m in the financial year ending December 2014. Prior to this acquisition the business employed 275 people.

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