Newcastle's Imprint Group has sold a majority shareholding to Sussex-based digital and litho printers, Pureprint.
The deal, which was partly financed by Pureprint’s recent £5.3m Business Growth Fund investment, will make the Newburn Riverside-based firm and its 100 staff part of the Uckfield-based outfit.
Newcastle-based law firm Watson Burton LLP advised Imprint Group shareholders on the disposal of their majority stake for an undisclosed sum.
Imprint specialise in manufacturing and supplying point-of-sale and large-format outdoor media and run a 24/7 operation at the 7,400 sq m Newburn facility.
The Group has invested more than £5m in new technology, staff and premises in the past five years, increasing its turnover from £7.4m in 2012 to £10m in 2015.
Pureprint chief executive officer Mark Handford said his firm had been looking to add a large format production capability for some time, having previously worked on contracts together with Imprint.
Mr Handford said: “As well as their high production standards I have been very impressed with Imprint’s IT innovations and their collaboration with the University of Sunderland through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership, a programme designed to provide businesses with access to university expertise.
“Pureprint is always looking for innovation and new ideas and Imprint have a good track record with this. We are looking forward to 2015 and with this acquisition the year has got off to a very positive start.”
Pureprint director, Richard Owers, said: “We handle quite a lot of wide-format work for our customers and we’ve been looking to add that to our portfolio for a few years now. This opportunity developed and was a better solution for us than starting from the beginning.
“Imprint is a very good business and one we know well because we’ve used it ourselves and worked with it before on a number of projects. We see it as an added bonus that its location gives us some geographical spread as well.”
The corporate team at Watson Burton LLP, led by partner Andrew Francey, worked on the deal, along with Andy Graham of Baker Tilly.
Andrew Francey, partner at Watson Burton, said: “We are pleased to have assisted the shareholders of Imprint Group on this strategically important deal. The Business Growth Fund provided an opportunity for Pureprint to acquire a dynamic and forward-thinking business which really understands the market in which it operates. I am looking forward to seeing Imprint Group grow further under the management of Pureprint – it looks set to be an exciting future for the business.”