Paragon snaps up Kingswood iOptus

By Jo Francis, Tuesday 22 May 2018

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Kingswood iOptus has been acquired out of administration by Paragon Group after the 23-year-old business hit cashflow problems.

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Kingswood iOptus: substantial digital firepower

It is the latest buy for the fast-expanding Paragon Group, which has acquired a number of distressed businesses in recent years, most recently FT Solutions in January.

In a letter to customers seen by PrintWeek, and signed by Kingswood group managing director Rob Long and Paragon change and business integration director Angus Campbell, it stated that Kingswood iOptus had found a new home within Paragon Service Point.

Paragon acquired the trade and assets of Service Point UK four years ago.  

“With immediate effect, Paragon will be taking over the Kingswood operations at both Clifton Street and Swanley, with all Kingswood employees at these sites transferring to Paragon. Therefore, it is very much ‘business as usual’, with you continuing to enjoy the current range of services provided by Kingswood via your current relationship owner.” the letter stated.

“We will continue operating under the Kingswood name for the immediate future and therefore you will see very little change in day to day communications.”

Kingswood iOptus runs a 24/7, 365 days a year offering comprising litho, digital, and large-format printing. It has produced work for a host of blue chip clients including Fenwick, John Lewis, Nike and Mercedes-Benz. It also offers confidential legal document production and facilities management services.

The firm has operations in the City of London and in Swanley, Kent. It employs around 50 staff and had sales of approaching £6m. 

It runs 20 digital presses and lays claim to being the biggest digital printer in the capital, with the ability to output 800,000 colour, or 1.2m black-and-white A4 prints in a 24-hour period.

PrintWeek understands that Kingswood iOptus had been having cashflow issues and had an outstanding debt with HMRC that resulted in HMRC issuing a notice of intention to wind up the business.

The accounts for Kingswood iOptus are overdue at Companies House.

Business advisory firm RSM handled the administration and sale, which appears likely to have been a pre-pack, with all employees retained. 

Further details were unavailable at the time of writing. Long and Campbell could not be reached for comment, and RSM had not commented.

Pro-forma sales at Paragon were €642m (£563m) last year, following the May 2017 acquisition of DST's Customer Communications business, now Paragon Customer Communications, which was not a distress purchase.

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