Severn under new ownership
Thursday, December 17, 2020
Severn has been acquired in a secondary management buyout and is poised to commission its latest investment in Canon sheetfed inkjet technology.
Technical director Mark Allington, who joined the Gloucester firm over the summer, has now acquired the company from directors Ian Smith and Martin Clegg.
Smith and Clegg had themselves acquired the former Severnprint business from employee trust Severnprint Trustees in 2018.
Smith said the board had been approached over the summer by an unnamed potential third-party buyer, but the board had decided the “fit was not right for the future of the business”.
“After those conversations concluded Mark Allington made an offer to the board to buy the business, Mark had a desire to take on the ownership of the business and add a new and exciting twist to the team, further strengthening the technical skills in the shape of a newly-appointed director, Christopher Holder,” Smith explained.
Holder is the former IT services manager at CPI Group. Allington, Smith and Clegg all also previously worked at CPI.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed and Allington was not available for further comment at the time of writing.
Smith and Clegg will remain with the firm on a part-time basis “for an extended transition period” as the firm moves into its next phase.
“Severn has shown strong resilience throughout 2020,” Smith said, with demand for its new services growing.
He said sales had grown to around £6m, from £4m at the time of the original MBO, with the business focusing on three key markets: high-quality short-run books, journals and magazines; commercial print products; and fast turnaround transactional and direct mail work.
The firm also majors on its environmental focus.
Over the summer Severn also became the first UK company to buy a Canon VarioPrint iX-series B3 sheetfed inkjet press.
It also runs a sheetfed Canon VarioPrint i300 and a continuous feed ColorStream 3900 high-speed inkjet.
Smith said that installation of the iX was well underway, with the press set to be signed off before the Christmas break.
Smith, Clegg and Allington have also set up a new company, Cloud Connector, described as a tech start-up that will be “focusing on several print-related B2C projects” planned for development in 2021 and release in 2022.
Smith said that, more immediately, Cloud Connector “will also be offering technical services to other businesses who require integration, automation, API and technical know-how in order to keep pace with the fast changing world of customer connectivity,” targeting businesses that do not have enough in-house know-how or resources in that area.”