Review of 2013: April

By PrintWeek Team, Thursday 26 December 2013

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Acquisitions, investments and insolvencies: all the action from a year in print

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Goss International restructured to improve its customer focus and target new markets… News International agreed to pay Johnston Press £10m to prematurely terminate the contract for printing The Sun, the last printing contract between the two publishers… Harveys UK continued trading under the same name after it was sold in a pre-pack deal to newco CGD Binder Solutions… Xerox launched an upgraded version of the iGen4 cut-sheet colour digital press, the iGen4 Diamond, with improved uptime and productivity… Polestar announced an investment in six new web offset presses from Goss International in a £50m press hall revamp, including the first 96pp commercial web presses in the UK, and secured a £75m contract renewal with magazine publisher Immediate Media… Durst claimed a victory in its intellectual property dispute with EFI Vutek over printing with white ink after a judgement in Düsseldorf District Court… The 4DM group rebranded as Eclipse 4DM, following its acquisition by Eclipse Colour, and launched a cross-media division, Eclipse Red... Former ProCo sales director Jon Bailey was promoted to managing director to spearhead growth plans, as founder Mark Schofield was made chairman… Printers were beginning to benefit from the Funding for Lending scheme, the much-criticised government initiative to ease the flow of credit to cash-starved SMEs… PrintWeek, the UK's leading title for the printing industry, was sold by Haymarket to Mark Allen Group…

april2Stockport printer Signs and Labels’ premises nearly went up in smoke after an electrical fault sparked a fire… Ink Shop Printing went into receivership, with all staff laid off, with what managing director Stuart Mason described as "six months of difficult trading"… Presstek implemented a restructure that included a number of redundancies less than six months after it was acquired by private equity firm American Industrial Partners… The government launched the first phase of its much-anticipated Business Bank with a £300m investment programme for SMEs… Digital pre-press and print pioneer Efi Arazi, founder of both Scitex and Electronics for Imaging (EFI) and father of Israel's high-tech industry, died aged 76… Kodak announced that it had agreed to sell assets from its Document Imaging business to office equipment maker Brother Industries in a cash deal worth £137m. It also announced its intention to sell two of its businesses to its own UK pension fund to help move towards an exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection... Around 100 firefighters were needed to bring under control and eventually douse a major fire at Smurfit Kappa's SSK site in Nechells near Birmingham… Alpha Media Solutions acquired the business and assets of Keighley-based commercial printer Steffprint via a pre-packed administration… In a surprise restructure, Joergen Vad was appointed country manager for Agfa’s UK and Ireland operations, replacing Dave Spencer who left the company… IPC Media manufacturing director Jasper Scott took voluntary redundancy as part of a wider restructure at the business… Walstead Investments posted maiden profits, with chairman Mark Scanlon hailing "excellent progress" in 2012 following extensive restructuring at the business... 

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