Reflex Group has acquired in-mould label (IML) specialist West Yorkshire Printing Company (WyPrint), in a bid to create a "strong, British contender".
The acquisition completed on 1 August for an undisclosed sum for the Ossett, West Yorkshire-based family-owned printer that was formed in 1831. It is one of a multitude of acquisitions that the group has made since its 2002 inception, including most recently Manchester-based TRS Design & Print, which it purchased out of administration in March.
WyPrint’s outgoing chief executive Michael Waller, who will leave the business after a short transitional period during which he will assist with integration, said that during his 11 years at the helm of the business he had developed its position as a leading IML supplier.
Reflex chief executive Ian Kendall said there are just a handful of UK companies left that specialise in IML, with most of the work imported from overseas, and this fills “a chink” in Reflex’s offering. The 3,700sqm site it has inherited is now Reflex’s fourth in Yorkshire.
“It fills a gap and enables us to offer our customers more of what they need,” said Kendall.
“The main thing for us was that because there are literally only a couple of people doing IML in the UK - most of it is all imported - and with the pound being weaker and Brexit we saw it as an opportunity to create a strong, British contender.”
30-staff WyPrint, which runs UV litho Manroland machines and has sales of around £4m, will now go through a period of integration before being brought fully into the Reflex fold.
Managing director Richard Dixon will remain with the business, continue to head up the plant and “work with customers to achieve the targets established by Reflex”.
Kendall said: “As we always do with acquisitions we will integrate at the right time in the right way but we are conscious of the heritage of the business and we want to understand it and see how we can keep some of that heritage. We’re not some multinational who want to obliterate it.”
Fast growing Reflex, which was the first UK company to sign for a Landa W10 web press, has numerous sites and various divisions across the UK, with around 590 staff following the acquisition and group sales of around £85m. It has invested just shy of £10m so far this year on kit upgrades to its labels division, as it attempts to fully standardise production and mitigate rising costs.
In 2015, it invested similarly and acquired Progressive-ID and Century Art.
Kendall added that it was likely Reflex would resume its stroll on the M&A path at some point later this year.