Pagefast has been acquired by MTP Media and will relocate to its new owner’s premises as floods have left its own base difficult to insure.
Lancaster-based Pagefast is in the process of moving its five-strong team over to MTP’s home in Kendal after the sale was confirmed on 1 November.
Flood damage sustained at the end of 2015 had left managing director Keith Simpson struggling to insure his plant and machinery. Simpson is approaching retirement age and assessed options which included selling the business. He offered his firm to MTP as part of a deal that will see him step down.
A sixth member of staff, currently on maternity leave, will make a decision about joining MTP upon returning to work.
MTP co-director Alastair Sanderson said: “While technically an acquisition, we are calling this a merger. We are taking on Pagefast’s work and staff but will keep its branding for at least a year.
“As we were ourselves in a position where we probably needed to take on more staff but didn’t quite have the workload yet to justify it, this is a perfect culmination of what both businesses need – it’s a nice marriage.
“We hope to continue our relationships with our own and with Pagefast’s clients with no interruption and retain as much business as we can. Our aim is to grow at a manageable level and not over-stretch ourselves in the current marketplace as print is changing.”
MTP Media runs a B2 five-colour Sakurai Oliver press, a B2 Heidelberg GTO single-colour and a five-colour SRA3 digital printer from Ricoh. As Pagefast ran matching equipment, it will not be brought onsite and will instead be disposed of by Simpson personally.
The merging brings MTP’s headcount up to 15 staff and, according to Sanderson, will add an extra “60%” to the general commercial operation’s turnover. He and fellow director Dean Lowes now look forward to a more “stable outlook” as the B2 market continues to present challenges to printers.