Callprint acquires Manchester print company

By Sarah Cosgrove, Wednesday 03 June 2015

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The Callprint Group has acquired Manchester high-street print, design and direct mail company PPS Print Communications as part of its bid to double turnover.


PPS Print Communications - now part of Callprint

The company, based in Deansgate, Manchester, was bought for an undisclosed sum, with the deal finalised on Monday after a year of negotiations.

It provided a range of printing services ranging from colour booklets, business stationery, mailers, flyers, graphic design, training manuals, merchandising and confidential copying as well as up to 1.3m wide-format prints for exhibitions and shows. Its five members of staff have been taken on by Callprint.

The location will continue to produce the same business and in addition act as a Manchester hub for Callprint’s operations in the North. It is then expected to convert to being a full Callprint operation in the next three months. A new Xerox Color J75 Press is being installed with immediate effect.

Callprint has wanted to establish a foothold in Manchester for some time, to add to its 17 UK and two international branches. 

Callprint group managing director Steve Cheek, said the location was a key element of the company's strategic growth plans and "start of a process" which will grow its general and wide-format business in the North.

"To find the right location right in the centre of Manchester was nigh on impossible. It's central and good for our existing clients and as we develop the client base."

Cheek said the location would add to its three strategic hubs in London, Birmingham and Knowsley, Merseyside, where extra wide-format capacity is being developed.

"We think that Manchester will need its own wide-format offering. It's likely that this will be the print-on-demand site with a supporting site in Salford, similar to the offering we have in Liverpool. There we have a customer-friendly office in Hatton Garden, where people can drop their files off and pick up completed work, that works with a more industrial facility in Knowsley. First off we needed the central location in Manchester.

"Callprint is continuing to grow and this new location gives us increased coverage across the UK as well as introducing our services and products to the Manchester region.”

The company plans to grow its sales to £25m over the next two years through acquisitions and recruitment, with a focus on expanding its wide-format offering. Cheek has previously said the company is specifically interested in companies with annual sales of over £3m with wide-format capability. He told PrintWeek he has recently completed a £300,000 spend with Xerox and is currently looking at further investment in wide-format kit, talking to HP, Canon and "a number of manufacturers".

Last month it doubled its footprint in Birmingham by moving to a new 1,100sqm facility close to the Aston Expressway and M6 motorway, which enabled the company to display on-site, all of its litho, signage, and POS and exhibition installation offerings.

Exhibition and installation work can also now be constructed on-site, prior to despatch to its final destination and the site is also producing 3D architectural and mechanical models.

Last July Callprint established Jupiter Visual Communications as a standalone wide-format graphics company, recruiting David Snaith as the managing director of the new team in April this year.

Snaith and Jupiter director Ben Moss had both previously worked at branding and graphics specialist McKenzie Clark and event branding company Icon. 

Terry Rutter, Alan Cheek and Norman Krangel established Callprint in 1992 and it now has a turnover of £12.5m and more than 170 staff. Callprint is wholly owned by Callprint Group, whose shareholders are the directors of Callprint.

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