Walstead appoints Rothschild to advise on next phase

By Jo Francis, Thursday 31 May 2018

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Walstead Group has appointed investment banker NM Rothschild to advise on future financing options that will satisfy the group’s appetite for more M&A deals.

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Scanlon: senior management team is committed to long-term plan

Chairman Mark Scanlon confirmed the highly-acquisitive group was working with Rothschilds in response to an article on Betaville, which speculated that Walstead investor Rutland Partners could be preparing to float or sell the company and cited a potential valuation of between £300m-£400m.

Rutland Partners took a majority stake in the web offset and gravure printer two years ago, when it invested £33m for a 53% stake in the company. Senior management retained the other 47%.

Both Scanlon and Walstead chief executive Paul Utting have experience of PLC life in previous roles – Scanlon at Adare and AIM-listed Thomas Potts, and Utting at Wyndeham Group and St Ives.

However, PrintWeek understands the business is not considering a listing.

In a statement, Scanlon said: “Walstead has been the fastest-growing large-scale commercial print group in Europe over the past three years. The group’s strategy involves generating organic growth in its existing markets, namely the UK, Spain, Austria, Czech Republic and Slovenia, and also acquiring well-invested and profitable print businesses in other European countries.

“Our senior management team is committed to our long-term plan to lead the consolidation of the European printing industry. So that we can exploit the many M&A opportunities we are being presented with, we have appointed NM Rothschild to advise us on a range of financing options which would provide us with even greater capital resources to follow through on these plans.”

He was not available for further comment at the time of writing.

Walstead is currently in the process of acquiring Austrian printer NP Druck.

Last year the group’s consolidated sales jumped by 85% to €481.1m (£415.7m) thanks to a full year contribution from previous acquisitions Wyndeham Bicester and Austrian group Leykam Let’s Print. EBITDA (excluding non-recurring gains) increased by 35.3% to €49.4m, while pre-tax profit grew from €8.6m to €9.7m.

 

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