BGF continued to back the UK’s innovative print sector when it invested £5.3m in Sussex-headquartered Pureprint Group in December 2014. BGF’s investment is supporting organic growth, further investment in its market-leading technology and providing the financial means for future acquisitions. BGF invested equity finance in Pureprint for a minority stake in the business.
Pureprint has experienced rapid growth in recent years, with revenue growing from £17m in 2009 to over £40m in the financial year ending December 2014. Based in Uckfield and founded in 1926 by the grandfather of current chief executive Mark Handford, the company provides lithographic and digital printing as well as packaging and outsourcing services, with a focus on quality, service and environmental sustainability. Its roster of over 300 clients includes many premium brands including Mulberry, Victoria Beckham, NetJets and Vertu, more than 50 FTSE 100 companies including Rolls Royce and BP, and charities including Fairtrade and Oxfam. Pureprint is also internationally renowned for producing fine art books and catalogues and clients include Gagosian Gallery and Sotheby’s in New York and London. The company currently employs 275 staff.
Pureprint was the first printer in the world to be awarded CarbonNeutral status in 2002 and sustainability is central to the company’s offering. The business has won a number of awards including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development in 2003, 2008 and 2013.
Mark Handford and his sister Bridget Massey, HR director, remained as majority shareholders following BGF’s investment. Handford appointed Andy Nash, introduced by BGF, as non-executive chairman. Following an extensive career in FMCG marketing, Nash is also Chairman of Brand Addition and ICA Digital. Jon Simon, senior investment manager at BGF, joined the board as non-executive director.