Change is the only constant for an evolving industry: PrintWeek's Top 500 annual review

Monday 03 December 2012

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A year that has witnessed the disintegration of the old Manroland and the rise of an entirely new printing technology - Benny Landa's Nanography - reinforces the point that print is always reinventing itself

November 2011

Former Polestar group operations director, Peter Andreou, rejoined the group as operations director... Trinity Mirror announced it was entering into a consultation period with bindery staff at its Oldham plant... Northampton-based Print 2 Hand Services launched a sister company, P2H Direct Mail... 4DM Group launched a new web-to-print service called Smart Hub... Vistaprint acquired Dutch business Albumprinter for £51m... Royal Mail shut down its iRed print management business... Alderson Print Group restructured its business following the departure of key staff, including former joint managing director Andrew Campbell... DST began restructuring its UK operations following the acquisition of Lateral Group... Printing.com posted a 19.4% drop in pre-tax profits, blaming costs incurred in launching new products... St Ives announced the closure of Westerham Press and its Blackburn multimedia site... Micropress invested £4.5m in a new facility and a range of equipment, including a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105-8-P... Goodhead Group announced pre-tax losses on £9.7m, with the majority of the loss coming from BGP, which posted an £8.7m pre-tax loss... Charles Jarrold joined Synergie Group as a non-executive director... Former Lateral Group chief Nick Dixon was appointed chief executive of DST... Pukka Pads took over business forms printer Inspired Forms and Grimsby-based Cardinal Brands for a combined consideration of £3m... Guardian Media Group announced it was considering the closure of print facilities in London and Manchester to cut costs... Wyndeham Pre-Press and Masterpiece merged to form a new company called Rhapsody... CeWe Color launched greetings card service, Card Town.. Manroland filed for insolvency protection after attempts to sell the company "failed on the home stretch"... Dave Rushton was appointed group managing director of Communisis...

December 2011
Chancellor George Osborne announced a £20bn National Loan Guarantee Scheme intended to boost bank lending to SMEs... Manroland GB managing director Norman Revill claimed the UK arm of the German press manufacturer was "okay and solvent". The following week, however, it went into administration... Robert Horne closed seven sales offices as part of a restructure of the business... Cova Colour Print was acquired by former Beacon Press Scottish sales office boss Mark Pryde in a management buy-in... De La Rue announced a near-25% increase in operating profit... Unite members at Trinity Mirror’s Oldham plant were balloted over industrial action in a row over pay... APS Group won the direct mail and print management contract for The Football Pools... CPI UK lost a substantial portion of its paperback printing contract with Random House to St Ives Clays... Trinity Mirror merged its Scottish national and regional businesses to form Media Scotland... Northside Graphics acquired the print division of Bradbury Graphics out of administration... Kall Kwik and Prontaprint franchise owner On Demand Communications went into administration... Butler, Tanner & Dennis began a consultation with staff over potential redundancies... DS Smith announced a rise in pre-tax profits to £42.8m in its half-year results...

January 2012
BGP, Polestar and Wyndeham Group all announced plans to make redundancies... Integrity Print’s parent company MCAARP Holdings acquired A1 Trade Print Services... Kodak and its US subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection... Former Manroland owners MAN Group and Allianz agreed to provide financial support for redundant staff... Simpson Group entered into a 30-day consultation with employees at its Heathrow facility... Paperlinx received a private equity takeover bid... Benson Group was bought in a management buyout... Forsyth Capital acquired Baldwin Technology... Printflow rebranded as Rapidity... API Foils appointed Will Oldham as managing director... DST continued the consolidation of its transactional, direct mail and print production facilities... The AlphaGraphics franchise was sold to US private equity firm Blackstreet Capital... Heidelberg announced it would cut 2,000 jobs worldwide... DS Smith launched a £1.4bn reverse takeover bid for SCA’s £2.1bn packaging division... Former Bezier chief executive Mark Shaw joined Inspired Thinking Group as business development director... St Ives marketing director Rob Kelly left the business to set up his own consultancy... Abstract Group joined forces with Annodata Print Services via an undisclosed equity transaction...

February 2012
Bertelsmann spun off its gravure and international businesses into a separate division... CPI UK announced plans to relocate paperback manufacturing to its Chatham, Kent facility... Baking case manufacturer Chevler acquired Cardiff-based greaseproof paper printer Lovely Packaging... Langley Holdings bought Manroland’s sheetfed arm... Bezier appointed print outsider James Buckley as chief executive... Stralfors cut up to 30 staff from its Dartford site as part of a move away from "commoditised print and direct mail"... Bridgeshire Packaging began a digital print expansion programme with the world’s first HP Scitex FB7600... Presstek chief executive Jeff Jacobson joined Xerox as president of its Global Graphics Communications division... A group of Paperlinx investors tried to oust company chairman Harry Boon... Jon Roberts was appointed managing director of Wyndeham Roche... Neschen announced closure of its Basildon production site... Stirland Paterson partnered with CRI Digital after years of fulfilling each other’s digital and litho requirements... John E Wright acquired the Nottingham branch of Service Point... Blue Printing Group went into administration, with the exception of its web offset plant, blaming a lack of due diligence in its acquisition of Aldridge Print Group... Wyndeham Group extended the lease on its Roche plant in Cornwall for up to nine years...

March 2012
Communisis spent £10m on two HP T400 high-speed inkjet web presses... DG3 Europe bought Sterling Financial Print’s manufacturing facility to create one of England’s largest digital print centres... Langley Holdings-owned Manroland Sheetfed bought Manroland GB’s sheetfed arm out of administration... Icon’s parent company Chime Communications bought McKenzie Clark in a deal worth up to £3.4m... Ideal Printers and PrintMailers merged to form Seebridge Media... Polestar withdrew plans to close its Colchester web offset plant... Inc Direct bought Wand to boost its direct marketing offering... Possehl Group formed Manroland Web Systems (UK) to buy Manroland GB’s web business out of administration... US-based Image Craft bought Qube Visual... HP merged its print and PC divisions following the departure of executive vice-president Vyomesh Joshi... St Ives bought 24% of mobile solutions provider Sponge’s shares to expand marketing services...

April 2012
Rokus van Iperen succeeded Ryoichi Bamba as Canon EMEA chief executive and president... H&H Group bought Cypher Digital in its third takeover deal in two years... Eastland Colour, a company formed by two senior employees at administration-struck Pelican Press, bought the failed company in a £20,000 pre-pack deal... Havelock Europa sold Showcard Print in management buyout to Ingleby (1884) for £15.3m... Auction house Sotheby’s licensed its name to US-based print manager Spire to create Sotheby’s Imprint... Ashgate Automation was appointed as a Duplo Digital dealer... Josero partnered with Colourgen to add Kala laminators to its portfolio... The Involve Partnership closed down its marketing agencies Whitewater Creative Services and Involve Marketing Agency after lenders withdrew financial support... Berforts Group and Information Press merged to form a £10m B1 litho and digital business... Hisayuki Kobayashi succeeded retiree Miko Noguchi as Mimaki president... FedEx partnered Google to enable small business to translate digital files to hard copy via Google Cloud Print... KBA UK appointed former Manroland service specialist Paul Guy as technical consumables sales manager of its new service and spare parts unit targeting Manroland customers... Newly-formed Manroland Web Systems and Manroland Sheetfed formed a global sales and services alliance to represent each other’s businesses... Landa licensed its Nanography technology to Komori for use in its next-generation digital presses for the commercial and packaging markets... Manroland Sheetfed signed an agreement with Landa to develop digital products using the latter’s nano-print technology...

May 2012
Drupa 2012 opened in Düsseldorf, with Benny Landa’s nanographic print technology the star attraction... Anton Group signed a £14m deal for three Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106s, which were launched by the German manufacturer at Drupa... Communisis announced the acquisitions of Kieon and Yomego for £1.1m in order to further boost the non-print services offered by its Intelligence Driven Communications division... Mark Nixon, executive sales director at KBA, left the manufacturer after a "strategic" falling out... Banner Managed Communication won a three-year contract with Best Buy Europe... Trinity Mirror staff at the Glasgow and Watford plants threatened industrial action over a proposed pay freeze... Ricoh Productions Print Solutions completed one of the largest colour equipment and solutions deals in its history with US-based commerce and payment processing firm First Data... Unite called for a 3.6% national pay rise... Polestar was mulling a possible web offset supersite after it said potential acquisitions in the sector proved "not attractive"... Buxton Press kicked off the next phase of its reinvestment plan by sealing a £7m deal for two Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106s at Drupa... Advertising company Ocean Outdoor was sold by initial investors Smedvig Capital to mid-market private equity house LDC for £35m... Quark expanded its reach into cloud-based publishing after acquiring UK-based software manufacturer Mobile IQ for an undisclosed sum... Mosaic Print Management bought DMS, a direct marketing agency specialising in charities, for £2.1m... Bezier was fined after admitting a health and safety breach following the death of a worker in 2008... Direct marketing agency Perspektiv and mailing company FCS Laser Mail merged...

June 2012
Print management group Paperhat bolstered its multimedia offering with the acquisition of majority stakes in high-end production studio FTP Digital and boutique creative agency Reputation by Design... Ovation Graphics announced its acquisition of Motheral Printing... Enfocus partnered with MIS provider GamSys... Cambridge University Press signed a long-term agreement to outsource its European print to MPG... The government announced a £500m initiative aimed at supporting SMEs... Domino took total ownership of Graph-Tech in a deal worth up to £19.1m... Agfa and HP said they would not exhibit at Ipex 2014, leading Landa Corporation to "revisit" its plans... Heidelberg suffered a €138m (£112m) pre-tax loss in the last quarter of 2011/12, resulting in €229m of pre-tax losses for the full year... Communisis acquired a 49% stake in creative services firm The Garden Marketing for a cash consideration of £400,000, with an option to buy the remaining shares for a further £600,000... US cloud-based content management system platform provider Crowd Fusion acquired digital publishing platform Ceros... Banner Managed Communication was awarded a £10m document management contract, for a minimum of three-years with an optional two-year extension clause, from insurer Hastings Direct, following a tender process... Domino Printing Sciences acquired inkjet mailing equipment manufacturer PostJet for an initial £6.5m...

July 2012
The final administrators report for Manroland GB was released showing that the sheetfed arm was sold for £645,131 and the web arm for £40,412... St Ives announced the closure of St Ives Direct Leeds after deciding to consolidate operations at its Bradford facility... Print suppliers for a £150m government print framework were named, including Xerox UK, 3M and Office Depot... MPG Books completed a deal with Cambridge University Press for the latter’s EU print work... Paperlinx announced the closure of sales offices and two delivery logistics sites as part of the company’s restructuring... Kodak was given permission to auction its digital imaging patents... ImageData Group won a contract with Anchor care homes... Staff at Wyndeham Peterborough faced possible changes to their terms and conditions, according to Unite... HH Global posted a turnover just shy of £100m... Former St Ives marketing director Rob Kelly and partner Peter Sheldrick bought large-format business Displayways... News International paid Johnston Press £30m to terminate its long-term printing contract as it moved to bring all printing in-house... F1 Colour won a pre-press contract with Sunday Publishing... Polestar renewed its contract with Monarch Travel Group for print, mailing and fulfilment... Cardiff-based large-format printer Gardners was bought out of administration by two of the company’s directors... David Arnold and Karin Arnold from collapsed printer Bluepoint Cambridge set up a new company, Langham Press, in an effort to save jobs... Heidelberg UK announced its first-quarter results were ahead of budget... Johnston Press implemented a six-month pay freeze for all of its UK and Ireland employees... Unite members at Paragon UK walked out in a row over pay and conditions... Mailroom kit manufacturer Neopost acquired software developer GMC... Williams Lea managing director, marketing solutions Steve Nunn was named the most powerful man in UK print in PrintWeek’s Power 100... Informa bought the MediaPro marketing event from CloserStill Media and merged it with its newly launched Cross Media exhibition... Heidelberg chief executive Bernhard Schreier announced that he would step down at the end of the year... Paperlinx chief executive Toby Marchant announced he was leaving the company...

August 2012
The administrator of finishing equipment manufacturer Mathias Bäuerle said it was confident of selling the debt-stricken firm... A strike by Unite members at Paragon UK over contract changes was suspended pending further negotiations... C3 Imaging was acquired by Zenith Print and Packaging and Zenith Media owner John Mooney... Leigh Print was bought out of administration by managing director Lee Harris-Ward’s new company, Leigh Print & Packaging... Malcolm Lane-Ley left his post as managing director of Paperlinx’s commercial division... Print industry veteran and folding expert Michael Weller died after a battle with cancer... Real Digital announced a 296% increase in pre-tax profit in its 2011 accounts... Paramount Printers acquired its rival City Litho in a six-figure deal... Kodak posted a pre-tax loss of $300m (£193m) in its second-quarter results... RR Donnelley posted a second-quarter profit of $88.8m (£56.2m)... Alderson Print Group’s web division, ABP Web, went into administration with the loss of 90 jobs... Lending to UK businesses fell £2.2bn in August despite it being the first full month of operation of the government’s Funding for Lending scheme... Unite members at Gomer Press planned a series of strikes in response to what they described as "enforced changes to pay and conditions"... Alexir Partnership created 25 new jobs and announced record year-end sales of £23m... Heidelberg’s decision to withdraw from Ipex 2014 raised worries of others following suit... Informa rebranded Northprint, North Print & Pack... Digital printer Integrated Graphics was sold to its former sales director Jeffrey Mayho...

September 2012
Macfarlane Group posted a 65% rise in pre-tax profits to £1.5m in the six months to June 2012 despite flat sales of £68m... UK manufacturing output experienced its sharpest drop since the first quarter of 2009 according to the Engineering Employers Federation... Precision Printing installed the UK’s first HP Indigo 10000 at its Barking facility... SME loan approvals in the second quarter of the year fell: 34% were declined, compared with 28% for the same period in 2011... Kodak announced a further 1,000 job cuts, including that of chief operating officer Phil Faraci, as it asked for more time to file its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganisation plan... Industrial action was suspended at Gomer Press after the company agreed to assist in an investigation into bullying allegations... Duplo’s UK marketing manager Peter Jolly took over as managing director from Tony Lock, who moved to the company’s international division... HH Global secured a £9m contract with the Post Office and a three-year "multimillion-pound" contract extension with Asda... Hawthornes of Nottingham was placed in creditors voluntary liquidation... The BPIF secured £1.1m in government funding to offer 200 places on a "degree-like" qualification for the print industry... Really Useful Print Company acquired Quick Print Norwich... Administrators Duff & Phelps were appointed to all Alderson Print Group trading divisions as owners Ron and Peter Alderson ruled out the possibility of a ‘phoenix’ of any of the insolvent businesses... Kodak postponed its patent sale indefinitely... BGP announced a £9m contract with Dennis Publishing... Eclipse completed its acquisition of fellow Kettering-based direct mail business 4DM, three years ahead of schedule... Goodhead Group more than halved its operating loss to £2.7m thanks to a 57% reduction in operating loss at web offset division BGP... Moo.com acquired US-based personal identity platform Flavors.me... Johnston Press announced the closure of its Sunderland plant following the loss of its News International contract... 103 jobs were at risk at Arjowiggins’ Stowford Mill after the company announced that it planned to close the facility in 2014... HSW Print went into administration with SFP Group after the litho printer accrued debts of £850,000... Contract newspaper printer Newsfax was placed into administration...

October 2012
The controversial HSE cost-recovery scheme, Fee for Intervention, came into force... John Dickinson entered a 30-day consultation with its 62 staff to discuss alternatives to closing its Tyne and Wear envelope manufacturing plant... St Ives recorded double-digit increases in underlying pre-tax profit and revenues in its year-end results... Labelsprint was sold via a pre-pack deal to production manager Gwyn Williams... Simon Timms acquired James Stewart & Co (Printers), the company his father Len Timms sold in 2010, after it fell into administration... DST Output UK embarked on a multimillion-pound, multi-site equipment upgrade with an order for a Kodak Prosper 5000XL... Derbyshire-based print finisher and bookbinder FF Allsopp & Co was sold in a management buyout... Drupa director Manual Mataré sparked controversy after revealing his recommendation that the show be moved to a three-year cycle... Stephens & George Print Group secured a two-year, £3m extension to its print contract with PrintWeek publisher Haymarket Media Group... DS Smith said its acquisition of SCA Packaging would deliver a return on investment above its cost of capital in 2012/13... Trinity Mirror merged its national and regional operations... Landa Corporation revealed it had taken orders for 400 Nanographic presses as chairman Benny Landa embarked on an investment round that valued the business at $1bn (£63m)... Labelgraphics boosted its production capacity by more than 60% after completing a £7.5m investment programme... Cardiff-based Zenith Media confirmed it had taken on the assets and premises of HSW Print, which failed in September... RR Donnelley was blamed for prematurely publishing Google’s third-quarter results, wiping $20bn off the internet giant’s share value... Ipex hit back at Drupa’s proposed move to a three-year cycle, claiming it was not in the industry’s interests... Royal Mail announced a new freeze on reversions just over a month after they were re-introduced... Real Digital International hinted at a new multimillion-pound investment following its triumph at the PrintWeek Awards where it picked up the Company of the Year gong... David Holland stepped down as Goodhead Group chief executive... Tangent Communications announced its £10m acquisition of Goodprint UK... Landa Corporation came out in favour of the three-year Drupa cycle as HP, Heidelberg and KBA opposed it... Six Spanish
envelope exporters were fined €3.7m (£3m) for fixing prices... DMGT confirmed it was in talks to sell its Northcliffe regional newspaper business... Penguin and Random House were set to merge following a deal between Pearson and Bertelsmann... ING Lease announced its exit from the UK asset finance market...

November 2012
Steve Parish announced his decision to leave his position as chief executive of Tag Worldwide... Drupa backed down on its proposed move to a three-year cycle... HH Global extended its contract with retailer Iceland... Muller Martini’s Andreas Schillinger announced he was leaving his role as UK managing director... Speculation mounted that Sir John Madejski was to sell Goodhead Group... CFH acquired Slough-based printer For Business for an undisclosed fee... Centrical Technologies, a new company set up by Neil Alderson, starting trading on the former Alderson Print Group site... Pensord invested £4m in the UK’s first Speedmas-ter XL 106 long perfector...Printing.com said it would ‘template empower’ online print shops by licensing its TemplateCloud technology... Polestar signed an exclusive heads of agreement with Goodhead owner Sir John Madejski... More than 500 delegates attended the inaugural meeting of Dscoop EMEA... Konica Minolta announced its acquisition of Charterhouse PM... EFI bought rival MIS developer Technique... Contego Packaging sold its cartons business to Graphic Packaging for £81m... RCS installed the world’s first Screen Truepress Jet SX... Paperlinx cut 200 UK roles as it centralised its sales ops...





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