Changes at York Mailing
York Mailing, the UK’s largest supplier of print material to the retail sector and one of the first Northern-based businesses backed by BGF, has announced new investment and changes to its management team following a period of sustained and significant growth.
The management buy-out has been led by current CFO Stephen Goodman and financially backed by Pricoa Capital Group. Chris Ingram, who co-founded the business in 1999, becomes chairman and current MD Mike Newbould will also remain on the board, taking on the role of interim CEO. Stephen Goodman will transition into the CEO role as well as leading the wider senior management team who have also become shareholders in the business.
Both Chris and Mike will also remain minority investors in the business alongside BGF, who have partially exited from their original £10m investment.
York Mailing is the UK market leader in the specialist production of retail flyers, media inserts and quality catalogues. In the past two years, under Chris and Mike’s leadership and with BGF’s financial backing, revenues have grown from £69m to more than £100m through acquisitive and organic growth and significant investment in new machinery. This has resulted in 275 new jobs to the group, more than a 50% increase in earnings to £12m EBITDA and value creation for all shareholders.
York Mailing acquired The Lettershop Group in August 2013 adding technologically advanced printing capabilities to the Group. This was followed by the acquisition of Go Direct Marketing in September 2014, bringing a new data-driven analytics division.
This deal represented BGF’s first exit and return on capital since it began investing in 2011. BGF’s long-term funding structure means that while it remains a minority investor of York, the initial return made from this deal will be reinvested into other growing companies.
York Mailing continues expansion
York Mailing Group Limited (YM), the UK market leader in the specialist production of retail flyers, media inserts and quality catalogues continued its expansion in September 2014 with the acquisition of Go Direct Marketing Limited (GDM).
Founded in 1999 and based in Otley, GDM has a strong background in mail order, retail marketing strategy and data analysis, with expertise in customer acquisition and retention via offline recruitment channels. Clients of GDM include Pure Collection, Cox & Cox, Wrap, Thompson & Morgan, The Handpicked Collection, French Connection & Brook Taverner and the business employs 10 staff.
The acquisition will enable YM to develop a new data driven analytics division, strengthening the group’s offering to its customers across The Lettershop Group, Pindar and York Mailing. It will now have the ability to provide an in-depth data analysis and reporting solution to existing retail customers in order to further drive innovative techniques in print personalisation.
In turn, the acquisition will enable GDM to expand its core business to a wider client base.
YM’s now generates revenues of £110m per annum and the enlarged business employs 530 staff across its 4 sites.
The acquisitions come following investment from BGF, the independent company established to help the UK’s growing businesses, of £10m in July 2013. BGF’s investment has provided the financial means for targeted acquisitions in the sector alongside the purchase of new state of the art printing presses, which will provide significant additional volume capacity and efficiency improvements to the group.
Chris Ingram, Chief Executive Officer of York Mailing Group, commented:
“I am delighted with the addition of this business to the group portfolio and believe this adds another dimension to our customer offering.”
Adrian Scott, Director at Go Direct Marketing Limited, added:
“I am thrilled with the acquisition by York Mailing Group and really looking forward to a new and exciting phase in the development of Go Direct Marketing. Being part of the largest and most innovative print provider to the retail sector in the UK, offers a real opportunity for us to strengthen and enhance our offering within the YM Group environment.”
Richard Taylor, Investment Director at BGF, commented:
“Chris and the team successfully acquired and integrated The Lettershop Group towards the end of last year and we were keen to see the business continue this expansion with another value enhancing acquisition. These are strong businesses that are being brought under the wider York Mailing Group umbrella and will only add to the company’s already strong product and service offering.”
York Mailing extends print offering with The Lettershop Group acquisition
BGF portfolio company York Mailing Limited, the UK market leader in the specialist production of retail flyers, media inserts and quality catalogues has completed the acquisition of The Lettershop Group (TLG), one of the leading print marketing and mailing solution providers in Europe.
The acquisition will add significant complementary and technologically advanced printing capabilities to the York Mailing group.
Founded in 1886 and based in Leeds, TLG had historically focused on direct mailing for the financial services industry but has since expanded into the retail sector and now offers a wide range of marketing services including data analytics, marketing strategy and digital media. Customers include Marks & Spencer, Sky and Tesco. In the 2013 financial year, TLG generated turnover of £20m and employs 200 staff.
The enlarged business will have an unrivalled hybrid digital and web offset printing platform with significant technological advantage over competitors and a compelling customer offering.
The enlarged Group’s turnover will reach almost £100m and it will employ 500 staff across its 3 sites. David McGolpin and Simon Cooper will remain in the TLG business as Joint Managing Directors and will continue to use their expertise to grow TLG as part of the larger group.
The acquisition comes following investment from BGF, the independent company established to help the UK’s growing businesses, of £10m in July 2013. BGF’s investment has provided the financial means for targeted acquisitions in the sector alongside the purchase of new state of the art printing presses, which will provide significant additional volume capacity and efficiency improvements to the group.
TLG represents the first acquisition that York Mailing has made using BGF capital.
Chris Ingram, Chief Executive Officer of York Mailing, commented:
“We have long admired TLG as a business given its outstanding client base and hybrid digital and web offset printing capabilities. It 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. This type of deal was a significant undertaking for us a management team and the financial backing and operational support provided by BGF has been invaluable.”
Richard Taylor, BGF, commented:
“This is a fantastic example of BGF’s capital being put to good use; an ambitious management team leading an expanding business but with a desire to grow that bit further and offer customers that bit more. When we started discussions with Chris and Mike prior to our investment, they flagged that this acquisition would be a significant part of the strategy and rationale behind taking equity investment and it is great to see the plan come to fruition.”
John Hornby, owner of TLG added:
“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.”
BGF backs largest supplier of print to the UK retail sector with £10 million
York Mailing Limited is the UK market leader in the specialist production of retail flyers, media inserts and quality catalogues.
The group comprises of two web offset printing companies: York Mailing Limited, which specialises in the production of retail flyers and media inserts; and Pindar Scarborough Limited, which specialises in the production of high quality catalogues, principally for the online retail market. York Mailing’s customers include some of the UK’s largest and best-known supermarket and retail brands including Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Lidl, Iceland, The White Company, Cotton Traders and Boden. York Mailing generated turnover of £75m and profit of £7.6m in the year ended May 2013.
BGF invested £10m of growth capital in the company and took a minority stake. BGF’s investment, together with additional funds from asset based lending and existing cash facilities, will enable York Mailing to fund the process of investing in new state of the art printing presses, which will provide significant additional volume capacity and efficiency improvements. The funding from BGF will also provide the financial means for opportunistic acquisitions and investments in the future.
Based in Elvington near York, York Mailing was founded by Chris Ingram in 1999. It is managed by Chris Ingram, CEO, and Mike Newbould, COO. They have since grown the business organically and through the acquisition of niche print specialists, including Pindar Limited in 2011, to become the largest supplier of print to the UK retail sector. The business has also won a number of accolades including being ranked as one of the UK’s private companies with the fastest growing international sales in the Sunday Times Virgin International Track 200 in 2013; and named as Printing Company of the Year by Print Week in 2008.
Despite the challenges of the market with books, magazines, newspapers and advertising moving online, the retail flyer and brochure markets, in which York Mailing has developed a leading position, are performing strongly. This is driven by supermarkets using flyers and media inserts as part of their marketing strategies and retailers using high quality brochures as a key conduit to drive online traffic.
Richard Taylor, BGF, commented:
“I think that many people would look at the physical printing business with some trepidation given how much of the market is moving online. What impressed us with Chris, Mike and the wider team at York Mailing was their ability to build a profitable and growing company by targeting a niche area within the sector that is in demand and expanding rapidly. Consistently investing in the latest innovative printing technology and acquiring underperforming assets and turning them round has enabled the management team to secure a market leading position. It’s a great example of a proven and dynamic management team with a clear plan to grow their business.
“You really only have to look at York Mailing’s excellent and long-standing client base to gain an understanding of company’s capability in delivering high quality printing campaigns and we look forward to supporting the company in these exciting times of growth and expansion.”
“With our recently established office in Leeds, we now have an even stronger local presence in Yorkshire and the North East; and York Mailing is the seventh investment that BGF has made in the North of England over the past sixteen months. We urge businesses to come and talk to us and see how our approach to partnership investing might also help them.”
Chris Ingram, Chief Executive Officer of York Mailing, commented:
“Since 1999 we have grown our business organically and through strategic acquisitions. Our investment in the new printing presses will add significant technological capabilities to the group and will mean that we are able to offer new and existing clients an unrivalled offering in the promotional printing market.
“Any expansion programme requires a level of financial flexibility and we needed an additional partner who could support us in this effort by providing not only the requisite growth capital, but who would work alongside us as a partner over the long term. BGF offered us this relationship and we look forward to working with them in the future.”