Pureprint secures £5.3m backing from BGF to support organic growth

88-year-old family printing business’ clients include Jack Wills and Rolls Royce

Sussex-based Pureprint Group has secured a significant £5.3m investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) for a minority stake in the business.

The long running family business, which claims to be the UK’s most sustainable printing company, was founded in Uckfield in 1926 by the grandfather of current chief executive Mark Handford.

It provides environmentally sustainable lithographic and digital printing as well as packaging and marketing solutions.

After experiencing a period of rapid growth – claiming an increase in revenue from £17m in 2009 to more than £40m by the end of 2014 – the company will use the investment to support further organic growth, investing in developing technologies to achieve its long-time goal of becoming UK sector leaders.

With a client base of more than 300, which includes such prestigious names as Mullbery, Victoria Beckham, Net Jets and Vertu; as well as charities Fairtrade and Oxfam and more than 50 FTSE 100 companies including Rolls Royce and BP, the company is certainly in solid position to build on.

Handford has appointed chairman of Brand Addition and ICA digital as non-executive chairman, with BGF’s senior investment manager Jon Simon joining as non-executive chairman. Handford and his sister Bridget Massey, HR director will remain as majority shareholders.

Commenting on the investment, Handford said: “This is an exciting time for Pureprint. We remain focused on our customer offering and making sure that as a print partner, we’re meeting and exceeding client expectations on quality and innovation.

“The BGF proposition was attractive for a number of reasons; control of the business has not altered, the support and connections they offer are incredibly valuable above and beyond the equity investment and we retain the sense of traditional heritage inherent in Pureprint.

“Our long term goal is to build one of the UK’s leading multi-platform print and marketing solution based businesses, a journey we started several years ago and continue today.”

The deal follows BGF investments of more than £13m in the UK’s wider print services sector including York Mailing and Thames Card Technology.

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