All the biggest stories from the past 12 months.
Apex Digital Graphics joint founders, Bob Usher and Terry Bratt announced, they were to retire. Agencies for Cron CTP kit and plates and Ryobi RMGT litho moved to Service Offset Supplies and M Partners Group respectively… St Ives completed its exit from print and sold its print management division, St Ives Management Services, to Paragon Group for £11m. CEO Matt Armitage resigned after completing the PLC’s exit from print. Paragon also bought the £14m-turnover Imprimus business, formerly Stralfors UK, from private equity firm Aurelius… Grafenia acquired Devon-based AG Signs & Print, which it planned to roll into its Nettl Exeter studio to create a design and graphics “superstore”… Go Inspire Group recruited Nick Cole, the former head of St Ives Marketing Activation print division, as the managing director of its Go Inspire Solutions direct marketing division… Tradeprint managing director Simon Cooper resigned from his role, but said he would “almost certainly” seek a new opportunity in the industry… Landa Digital Printing received a further investment of $300m (£228m) from German entrepreneur and Altana owner Susanne Klatten, bringing her total investment to £400m, to aid its expansion… German paper mill Zanders opened insolvency proceedings, citing rising costs as the primary cause… However, another German paper mill, Scheufelen, restarted production at its Lenningen base after securing “a strong partnership of investors”… Sunline Direct Mail appointed Simon Thomas and Nicholas O’Reilly of Moorfields Advisory as joint administrators after its search for a buyer proved fruitless… Walstead Group followed up its successful acquisition of Austrian web offset printer NP Druck with the purchase of the €200m (£179m) turnover Polish web offset business LSC Poland… Debenhams’ in-house printing operation Magenta was put up for sale as part of a restructure at the struggling retailer… Pureprint took on four members of staff and 15 post-press machines following the collapse of Chessington-based Barwell Print Finishers… The Print Centre Group grew its sign and display offering after buying eight-staff, Cardiff-based Semaphore Display… Ink manufacturers rolled out further price increases citing “unprecedented trends” in the access to raw materials, leading the British Coatings Federation to express concern for the print market… An asset sale at multi-site book printer Edwards Brothers Malloy in the US sparked global interest as it included nine Timsons book presses… Newly formed company Resolve Business Management secured the UK and Ireland dealership for Keyline MIS… The Printing Charity awarded 91 grants to young people, the most in its history, in 2018’s Print Futures Awards… SP Group went into administration just four months after it was purchased from St Ives, with its new owners citing a catastrophic halving of forecasted sales at the business… Johnston Press was threatened with legal action by its largest shareholder, Custos Group, over rumours that the company may be pre-packed after its shares fell to an all-time low of 3p… Circle Media Group established a major presence in the UK with the takeover of pan-European book printer CPI Group… Direct marketing production agency and managed print service provider Absolute Direct Marketing acquired fellow Leeds-based business Telescope Studios, a digital design and asset management specialist… Long-serving EFI chief executive Guy Gecht announced that he planned to step down after more than 18 years in the role…