18 August 2013 Print Companies

York Mailing acquires TLG after capital injection

Weeks after receiving a £10 million investment York Mailing has made the first acquisition, with scope for more.

York Mailing has dipped into the £10 million funding received from the Business Growth Fund to acquire Leeds direct mail printer The Lettershop Group. The deal will bring York Mailingto turnover of £100 million and to becoming a substantial force in web offset, particularly for retail.

With the original business concentrating on flyers and the Pindar business acquired last year producing catalogues for online retailers, The Lettershop Group adds a direct mail and data driven print proposition. The business started in the financial sector, latterly expanding in retail with the Co-op among its customers. Others include Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Sky.

Chris Ingram, CEO of York Mailing, says: “The Lettershop Group is a natural fit within the York Mailing business and we look forward to being able to offer customers an enhanced range of promotional printing services.” The funding from Business Growth Fund has enabled the deal and represents just the first acquisition made using the BGF capital.

The deal will see TLG owner John Hornby step away from the £23 million turnover business, while David McGolpin and Simon Cooper will remain with the business as joint managing directors. Hornby says: “I am delighted that the York Mailing Group of companies has acquired The Lettershop Group and along with Simon and David, I think this is the perfect home for The Lettershop business. I firmly believe that being part of the UK’s most dynamic print provider offers a real opportunity for TLG to extend their leading technology to a broader customer base.” The company reported a pretax loss of £915,00 million on sales of £23.2 million in 2012. It has 240 staff.

The Lettershop Group operates two web offset presses, an M600 and older Harris M110 8pp press, running reel to reel and four finishing lines capable of cutting folding and gluing to create one piece mailers. Uniquely the company has developed the capability of printing a swathe of four colour variable data information using Kodak Stream heads at a time when Kodak was marketing the add-on as a mono only proposition. TLG had considered packaging this technology for other printers.

The opportunity now is to cross sell the technology to York Mailing’s existing clients, especially those in online shopping where TLG's experience in data management and analytics will prove beneficial alongside Pindar’s more limited experience of variable data printing. One aspect that has already been considered is a personalised section, based on a consumer’s purchasing history, at the opening of a catalogue printed using the inkjet technology on standard catalogue papers.

Gareth Ward