Review of 2018: February

By Nick Mansley, Wednesday 26 December 2018

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All the biggest stories from the past 12 months.

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Reflex Group signalled its intention to have a busy M&A year ahead with the purchase of family-run, Grimsby-based Kingsway Printers... German paper mill Feldmuehle Uetersen filed for insolvency and appointed Tjark Thies of Reimer Rechtsanwälte as administrator. It was rapidly followed by another German mill, Papierfabrik Scheufelen... Kolbus sold its perfect binding and book line arm to Muller Martini. The deal covered Kolbus perfect binders and hard case lines, as well as their peripheral equipment... The government launched a review into the future of national and local newspapers, following the shutdown and downsizing of numerous titles across the UK... The value of the global packaging services market was forecast to grow from $33.7bn (£23.6bn) in 2017 to $50bn in 2022, according to Smithers Pira... Trinity Mirror shareholders said they were prepared to block a proposed takeover of the Express if the price agreed with owner Richard Desmond was too high, according to a report by the Telegraph. The company agreed to purchase Northern & Shell’s publishing assets in a near-£200m deal, which includes payments into the N&S pension schemes... Cumbrian papermaker James Cropper warned that a “significant increase” in pulp prices would hit its full-year profits... De La Rue sold a majority stake in its specialist papermaking business to private equity firm Epiris and management in a £68m deal... EFI reported record full-year sales of $993.3m (£696m) following a record fourth quarter... POS specialist Simpson Group was acquired in an MBO, with the family founders handing over the reins of the £11m-turnover business to a new management team led by sales director Dean Williams... Encore Envelopes looked set to become the biggest envelope business in the country after acquiring the business and assets of failed rival Great Northern Envelopes... George Craine, founder of ink house Cranfield Colours, died at the age of 87...Kodak said it was moving “full speed ahead” with its KodakCoin cryptocurrency but warned potential investors to beware of fraudulent websites purporting to be offering KodakCoin tokens... Flint Group and Sun Chemical announced prices increases of various inks and coatings. Sun Chemical also upped its presence in the premium security inks market with the acquisition of specialist UK manufacturer Luminescence...Lorraine Burnell stepped down as managing director of Bakergoodchild, with Frank Barr stepping in as finance director to fill a portion of her role... The BPIF released its latest Printing Outlook study of the health of the industry, reporting muted growth in Q4 without the usual seasonal boost...Hamish Thomson, founder of J Thomson Colour Printers, died aged 90... Heidelberg said it had more than 100 potential customers lined up for its new subscription pay-per-use business model. It also revealed that Heidelberg UK is rolling out a custom version of the group’s new subscription model, focused on the two new presses being launched at its Press4Value open house... Aaron Printing & Mailing Solutions went into liquidation after its assets were sold and its staff made redundant... 

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