York Mailing extends print offering with The Lettershop Group acquisition

August 2013

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.”