Jarrold to sell 70% stake to Pitts MBI

Wednesday 21 January 2004

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Jarrold & Sons has agreed to sell a 70% stake of its print division to a team led by ex-TPL Printers managing director Bob Pitts.

The management team of the firm, which is likely to be called New Jarrold Printing, will bring 25m of investment for new presses and plant. Ex-BPIF eastern regional director Greg Kane is part of the team, and will be human resources director.

Although the others behind the bid have not been named, one is believed to be Polestar Colchester customer services director Dave Medler. Charles Jarrold and account director John Burrell will support the team.

Jarrold Printing executive chairman Gary Iceton is leaving the business and was praised by the firm for his 15-month contribution.

Kidderminster-based TPL Printers has also not yet appointed Pitts successor and operations director Ken Drabble is performing his role in the interim.

Jarrold & Sons chairman David Hill said: I think that there will still be business failures in the industry caused by low prices. Those who can re-equip will be likely to consolidate.

Jarrold Printings 326 staff will move to the new company and will keep their existing terms and conditions. The deal could be concluded in the next few weeks.

With the investment in wide web presses, thought to include two 64pp and a 48pp web, New Jarrold Printing will target the longer run magazine and catalogue markets. The firms current press arsenal includes two Baker Perkins G16 64pp webs, one MAN Roland short cut off Lithoman 64pp and one six-unit 16pp Komori.

The deal will allow the Jarrold family to release the value of the print wings city centre site by relocating it to a greenfield site on the outskirts of Norwich, although NJP has a three-year lease on the existing Barrack Street premises.

The lease of the printworks could go on longer. We have a 30% stake in the new company, but its up to the management team to decide where to locate the new presses, said Hill.

Jarrold & Sons has been involved in printing since 1810 and Jarrold Printing has operated from Barrack Street since 1933.

What the customers say:

NatMags manufacturing director Alice Beattie (formerly Symonds) Its great to think that you have got venture capitalists moving in as well as the continuity of management. I dont know Bob Pitts all that well, but Im looking forward to working with him and the new management team.

Financial Times head of print services Richard Boulton Its a good move if its means a significant investment and theyre talking about 25m. If the management team is bringing that level of commitment it can only be a good thing.

Former Jarrold Printing managing director William Mills David Hill has handled this in a mature and right way. He has thought very carefully about everyones interests customers, employees and suppliers.


Story by John Davies

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