Denmaur Independent Papers has re-organised its operations to better respond to, and give it a sharper focus on, growth opportunities.
The £116m-turnover paper merchant, which celebrates its 35th anniversary on 1 May, has split the business into two trading divisions: Denmaur Media and Denmaur Paper.
Denmaur Media will be headed by director Doug Jessop, who will be supported by sales director Julian Townsend. It will include the publishing activities of the group’s operations in Sittingbourne and St Albans.
Denmaur Paper will focus on commercial print and stock sales and be headed by director Andy Buxton, who was managing director at Paperlinx, before joining Denmaur in 2014, with the support of regional sales director Andy Faithful.
As a result of the re-organisation, managing director Mike Gee will step up to become chief executive of the business he jointly founded in 1983 with his younger brother Nick Gee, who now becomes managing director.
In their new roles, Mike Gee will focus on strategic activities, while Nick Gee will run the business day-to-day.
“We’ve been planning this for a while,” said Mike Gee.
“Historically the publishing part of the business was very much the larger side, but over the past four or five years we’ve really developed the stock side too. Now, we’re a major player on the stock side as well as publishing.”
Broadly speaking, in revenue terms Gee said that the business is now fairly evenly split between publishing and commercial/stock.
The group has branches in Sittingbourne, Kent, which is also its head office, Alderley Edge, Cheshire, Bristol, St Albans, and Leeds and a central warehouse and distribution centre in Bardon, Leicestershire, which opened in 2016.
Nick Gee will run the business day-to-day
To support the new dual focus of the business, the company will be launching a new website and the brand identities of the two divisions on 1 May, to coincide with its anniversary.
Gee said that as well as driving growth, part of the reasoning behind the rejig was also to future-proof the business in terms of mid- to long-term succession planning.
“But I’m certainly not planning on disappearing any time soon to work on my golf game,” he added.
In his new chief executive role, Gee said he wanted to focus on strategic growth opportunities.
“I see lot of opportunities in the business, but there are still some challenges in the market. [But] we’ve got one or two exciting products coming on board soon and there could also be the possibility of some acquisitions in the future, or new divisions – so I’ll be looking at those.”
While Gee stressed that while the two divisions would have separate management teams, the legal status of the business remained unchanged, and in terms of customers that span both the publishing side and the stock sides, nothing would change.
“We’ve simply better defined responsibilities and created a structure that will enable us to grow in the future. But the customers will still largely deal with their same contacts – you could say that things will be the same, just better.”