New-look Stones Ashford takes shape

By Jo Francis, Wednesday 19 April 2017

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Stones Ashford has parted company with two former directors of Headley Brothers.


Ashford site: being rebranded

Simon Bingham, who had been managing director at Headley Brothers prior to the firm’s failure, and Andrew Owden, operations director, left the business earlier this month.

Magazine and commercial printer Headley Brothers was acquired out of administration by the team behind Banbury sheetfed printer Henry Stone at the beginning of March, and was subsequently renamed Stones Ashford.

Henry Stone managing director Richard Walsh said the departures were part of the integration process, post-acquisition, and he wished Bingham and Owden all the best for the future. Sales director Paul Palmer remains with the business.

“Mark Scurr our group production director is looking after day-to-day production side at both sites, and he’s more than capable of that, while I’m handling the admin side,” Walsh explained.

He said the company was in the process of finalising a new 10-year lease at the Ashford site.

“We believe that with the proper controls and processes in place this can become a nice solid business again. The underlying business and the people here are great, and the location is excellent.” he said.

“It’s a very good fit and a number of our existing Stones customers are very keen on the web offset facilities we now have in Kent. Our intention is to invest in the equipment and the people.”

Walsh also said suppliers had been “brilliant”, and the firm had the backing of investors Thames Valley Capital for its plans. It is in the process of rebranding the Ashford site.

Stones Ashford took on 113 staff when it acquired Headley Brothers. The Kent site runs two web presses, a 16pp and a 24pp, and three Heidelberg Speedmaster 102 sheetfed presses with CutStar reel sheeters.

Walsh led the management buy-out team that acquired sheetfed print site Stones in Banbury, and Exeter book and journal printer Wheatons in June 2016 following the collapse of Polestar.

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