New board structure at Clays

By Jo Francis, Friday 21 September 2018

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A revamp of the Clays board under its new ownership has resulted in the return of a former managing director of the business as a non-exec.

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Clays: new owners "determined to support business in fullest possible way"

The Bungay firm was acquired for £23.8m at the beginning of May by Elcograf, a division of Italian print group Gruppo Pozzoni.

The new governance structure at the book printer means that Clays will now operate as a subsidiary of Elcograf.

Managing director Paul Hulley has been promoted to chief executive, while Mario Pozzoni will chair the Clays board.

Former Clays managing director Kate McFarlan, who spent 19 years working at the business before standing down in April 2017, has returned to the company as one of two new non-executive directors. The other non-exec is former Nielsen Book chief executive Jonathan Nowell, currently a senior advisor at corporate finance firm Trillium Partners.

Elcograf legal counsel Maurizio Vercelli also joins the board.

The established leadership team and reporting structures at the business remain in place.

Hulley said the first four months under new ownership had been “inspirational for us all here at Clays”, and he was delighted to have McFarlan and Nowell on-board.

“This structure demonstrates the determination of our new owners to support our business in the fullest possible way, at the same time respecting the particular market conditions, challenges and opportunities here in the UK,” he said.

Hulley said he anticipated further major changes in the book industry over the coming years, and said that he believed Clays was well-positioned to adapt and handle any future demands. 

"With strong balance sheets supporting us we have a programme of strategic investments ahead. Printers can’t just be printers any more – they have to be solution providers. When the market keeps evolving we have to do the same. I see tremendous opportunities across the next few years for the book industry and likewise for Clays."

Clays had sales of £76.5m last year, and the business employs around 700 staff.

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