Hobs Group divests MPS arm

By Richard Stuart-Turner, Thursday 10 May 2018

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Hobs Group has sold Hobs On-Site, its managed print services (MPS) division, to independent IT services business SCC, for an undisclosed sum.

james-duckenfield

Duckenfield: "We’ve got a strong growth plan for all three [remaining] businesses"

The sale of the circa-£8m operation, which provides specialist services in document digitisation, document process re-engineering, print room, mailroom and digital mail management, was completed last Friday (4 May).

The deal has seen all 85 of On-Site’s staff move over to SCC, including its managing director Simon Kelly, who will continue to run the business.

While the majority of On-Site’s staff are not fixed to a specific location, the firm’s head office function will shortly move over to SCC, which is owned by Stratford Upon Avon-headquartered Rigby Group.

On-Site will sit alongside M2, SCC’s existing specialist MPS business, and will be renamed M2 Managed Document Services.

SCC said the acquisition enables continued growth and will drive a 'paper to digital' strategy, including cloud-based systems, for its customers.

Hobs Group chief executive James Duckenfield told PrintWeek the sale of On-Site would enable the Liverpool-headquartered group to further invest in its core businesses.

It is particularly eyeing up further acquisitions for its reprographics business, Hobs Repro, to follow its 2016 acquisition of Face Creative Services.

“We had decided that the best growth prospects for the On-Site business would be with a company like SCC/M2,” said Duckenfield.

“They are a long-term partner of ours and we wanted it to go to a good home where its prospects were better than they would be within the Hobs Group.

“It’s a good, steady business with a really good client base and we decided that, while we could grow that business, it would have taken quite a long time. And our growth speed with the other businesses in the group is much greater than it was with On-Site.”

He added: “We’ve had a good, steady year in the reprographics business in what is a tough marketplace. We’ve also seen good growth in [legal services business] Anexsys and our 3D business [Hobs Studio], and we’ve got a strong growth plan for all three businesses.”

Prior to the sale of On-Site, the Hobs Group had just over 410 staff and a turnover of more than £35m. The group, which holds a Royal Warrant for services to the Royal Household, last year received a £4m investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF), following a prior £7m investment in 2014.

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