29 March 2020 Business

Minuteman Press has buyers, seeks sellers

US head quartered print franchise wants to expand its network and is happy to match independent operations with potential buyers, with Grafenia on the look out for small sign and display businesses.

Franchise group Minuteman Press is offering to buy any high street print business that wants to sell out. While its conversion programme has started in the US, it applies equally to the UK.

“The way it works is that an independent print shop owner contacts us, and then our local field team in the UK would reach out to them. There are no broker fees or commissions,” says a spokesman for the business.

The company says it has access to potential buyers, some with industry experience, some without who are keen to take on and develop an existing business. “Part of our growth strategy is to help independent printers sell their business and convert their store into a Minuteman Press franchise,” says the company.

Any potential buyers without experience in printing would receive full training from Minuteman, the company says. Sellers are also reassured that customer service will continue as before.

The company says that a sale through its operation will achieve the full value for the business, not just the sales book, through greater understanding of the business profile than a broker would have. It has access to a wider range of buyers, it claims. “We are able to take on buyers who are new to printing,” it says, rather than focusing on a trade buyer.

Minuteman Press has close to 1,000 locations around the world making it the largest print franchise. It remains in the hands of the family that started it in 1973.

The company is likely to receive a flood of inquiries as the Covid-19 pandemic piles on the pressure on print businesses, especially high street operations which have had to close their shop counters during the lock down period.

And Minuteman is not the only potential buyer. Grafenia has held out a helping hand to small sign and display graphics businesses that want to roll their business into the Grafenia network.

The UK company has acquired six businesses like this, four of which have been combined as two Nettle Business Superstors in Liverpool and Exeter. It has a similar operation in Manchester and wants to create similar hubs in the Midlands, South East, South West and Central Scotland. CEO Peter Gunning says: “These are unprecedented times for our industry. We’re asking business owners who previously have not have been considering a sale to get in touch. There’s increased safety being part of a larger group. We have access to capital to execute our strategy. We can move quickly to help otherwise sustainable businesses who’ve been impacted by recent events.”

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Peter Gunning

Peter Gunning

Grafenia is looking for independent sign businesses that are willing to become part of Grafenia for the security of a larger print business under the Nettl Business store. At the same time Minuteman is offering to buy smaller print businesses to add to its franchise network.

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