Three of the UK’s leading print companies unite

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020

In big news for the UK printing sector Precision Printing, ProCo and Prime Group are merging to form one large organisation which they hope will ‘dominate’ the industry.

The new organisation, which will be known as the Precision Proco Group, will also include the online upload and print portal Where The Trade Buys and North East-based digital solutions provider Climb.

The companies have worked together for a number of years and feel the time is right to formalise this arrangement and combine their expertise, with the promise of ‘providing further values to both our customers’ operational marketing and wider business events.’

Gary Peeling of Precision Printing will become group CEO, Jon Bailey, formerly of ProCo, will take on the role of COO and Jon Tolley of Prime will be group CIO. Coming in from outside will be new group CFO Dominic Neary, formerly of Just Eat, and new chairman and merger advisor Philip Osmonds, a former director of British Airways.

‘Our customers in the main are established brands which are looking to expand their market share though innovation, or businesses relaunching or developing an e-commerce brand,’ said Mr Peeling. ‘This is particularly relevant in the current climate and we believe that what we can offer through this merger are unparalleled solutions for customers to do this.’

The new organisation says its ‘huge investment in state-of-the-art equipment’ means it has the ‘strongest offer in the country,’ with 15 digital and four litho presses, high speed inkjet, wide-format and laser cutting capabilities, alongside a range of specialist finishing lines.

Talking to Digital Printer about the move, the companies said that talks about the merger had been in the works for two years and hadn’t come around because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The fact that there was so much alignment between all three businesses, ‘based on mutual respect, mutual friendship and mutual commitment to the print industry,’ meant that it was a subject that had constantly been raised.

They added that they would continue to invest in the new organisation, having already acquired a new 40,000sqft site at South Normanton, Nottingham, and a new compass binding machine which together represent a £1 million investment. Collectively, the companies own 15 digital presses, predominantly HP Indigo models, plus ProCo’s HP PageWide T240 installed at its Stansted site in 2019.

The company, 100% owned by founding shareholders and directors, says its turnover is on track to reach £45 – £50 million this year, a small increase on the previous 12 months.

The driving force behind the move was the recognition that all of the companies shared a ‘combined passion to print differently for e-commerce,’ Mr Peeling added.

‘The focus is on how we diversify our business model and work together to optimise our online business plans and show how we can do things differently – and more effectively.

‘The introduction of Climb as part of the group, an award-winning digital solutions provider specialising in e-commerce, and the unique technology platforms it is creating for us, will allow us to optimise offline marketing through smart automation, smart collaboration and smart utilisation.’

Precision and ProCo will operate as Precision Proco, while Prime will retain its name with a new brand identity. There are no redundancies as a result of the merger. 

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