Heathfield commercial printer Scantech has acquired Berforts South West and is set to begin relocating into its new subsidiary’s Hastings base to consolidate under one roof.
The deal was signed in early May, with work beginning on consolidating the operations in the autumn. It is expected that both companies will share a single base – and the Scantech name – by January 2019.
While Scantech already had its own production capabilities, commercial director Craig Stephens said that Berforts offered an opportunity for the firm to graduate onto larger-format equipment and a wide variety of finishing kit.
“We have worked with Berforts for a number of years and this deal had continually come on and off the table for about 18 months prior to its confirmation,” said Stephens.
“As these things go along you start to see the potential for synergy and, with the pressure currently facing the industry, coming together seemed like the right thing to do. More and more of our customers are looking for niche and bespoke jobs which we were having to increasingly outsource, but this brings all the capabilities and capacity in house.
“It is exciting times for us now and we have spent a lot of money on upgrading our systems and investing in the group to secure everyone’s future. We have seen that we are putting money in the right place and getting a return on it.”
Berforts runs a host of printing equipment, including a Komori Lithrone SRA1 A37 H-UV press and a Xeikon 9800 digital web press, both for book printing, alongside mono and digital printing, as well as finishing equipment capable of folding, stitching, trimming and die-cutting and a fully automated mailing line.
Scantech will migrate its Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 five-colour press and its wide-format machinery to the 1,200sqm Hastings site in due course. Stephens said the transition will facilitate a further focus on personalisation and transactional work, including “everything from business cards to reports and accounts”.
It has taken on 16 members of staff from Berforts and will move 30 of its own staff over to the new base. Four Scantech staff members elected not to make the move with the company.
Berforts former owner Gerald White remains with his company for the moment, with a final decision on his status to be made following the transition.
The original Scantech premises cover 600sqm and will likely be sold to fund further investment in the new entity. Scantech now turns over £4.8m, of which its new acquisition makes up “around 60%” according to Stephens.