Three former Anton Group directors have elected to “do it our way” and have established Sinatra Marketing Group, to offer commercial print and mailing services.


Sinatra has its sights on specialising in one-piece mailers

Cousins Gary and Barry Knight and Warren Pether began trading from a 1,580sqm site in Rayleigh, Essex, in July. The company has six full-time staff and operates Monday to Saturday with a bulk of its work coming from the commercial sector.

The company was founded with an investment in May of £600,000 on kit, which included a secondhand Heidelberg Speedmaster 102 with CutStar, previously at Headley Brothers, plus finishing equipment including machines from MBO, Stahl and Polar.

Barry Knight said: “We have between us around 75 years’ experience in print and we were with Anton up to the last day. It was devastating. We have worked for people for a long time – the name of the company comes from a desire to do it our way.

“I believe we will learn from our experiences and carve our own path, changing how things have been done to suit ourselves. We are offering commercial print to get started, but our main aim is to become a 24/7 operation doing a majority of one-piece bespoke mailing with between 25%-40% commercial.

“How quickly we get there will depend on a lot of different factors, but we have a three-to-five-year plan in place that will see us grow to a headcount of 25-30 as well as taking on more equipment as soon as cashflow allows again.”

The company has recently confirmed an order for HP Inkjet heads, which will be incorporated into Sinatra’s finishing setup.

Barry Knight was a commercial director at Anton, which went into administration in March last year, although he had previously held production roles. Gary Knight was an operations director and Pether specialised in transport and logistics.

“Warren worked at the back-end of the business, while Gary was in the middle and I operated at the front-end, so between us we are able to cover the full breadth of a business,” said Barry Knight. “This is what we plan to do with our combined experience.”

Sinatra is targeting between £750,000 and £1m in sales for its first 12 months, and Barry Knight said he anticipated a possible £3m-£5m turnover by the end of the firm’s initial plan, depending how quickly it is fulfilled and what sort of work is commissioned by customers, currently largely derived from the directors’ previous industry contacts.


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