Spectrum bought by Streamline-led print consortium

Lockley (right with Smith): “A great new brand has been brought into the fold"

Streamline Press and sister firm Baxters have jointly bought local business Spectrum Printing Services forming a Leicestershire-wide print group.

Under the agreement, which was completed for an undisclosed fee on 14 February, all 22 employees will remain at £2.4m-turnover Spectrum and the business will continue to trade as a separate entity from its Hamilton, north east Leicestershire site.

The newly formed group is projecting growth of around 25% thanks to the tie-up, boosting annual turnover to around £13m. With a 99-strong workforce, the companies will share their customer-base and production resources and will integrate back-office support such as workflow, estimating, job bag creation and scheduling software, however they will retain trading names and individual branding.

All three businesses run Heidelberg equipment, with Beaumont Leys-based Streamline housing the B1 XL 106 and both Spectrum and Baxters (also Hinckley-based) running the latest B2 XL 75 litho presses. The businesses are predominantly litho printers with a 10%-20% digital output.

The consortium’s three shareholders include group director Mark Lockley, group sales director Richard Smith and Baxter’s managing director Alastair Higgins, while former Spectrum owners Paul Clifton and Karl Nicholson join as operations directors to make up the five-strong senior management team.

Clifton said it had been an easy decision to accept the consortium’s acquisition offer.

As part of the new development, eleven members of staff have been taken on from fellow Leicester group Taylor Bloxham, which fell into administration in February. Bloxham’s Simon Wood joins as business development director for the new group of businesses.

Lockley said the acquisition followed months of negotiations and would increase production capacity and speed to market.

“A great new brand has been brought into the fold,” he continued. “As a competitor, Spectrum always shared our values of putting the customer first and delivering great quality print, exceptional service and cost effective solutions.

“We are now going to drive a single business with three operating sites across Leicestershire that will form as the best commercial printers in the East Midlands.

Lockley added: “Our service offering to customers will grow over the coming years with increased production capacity, quicker turnaround times and economies of scale – meaning even more value for money for our customers.”

Commenting on his move from Taylor Bloxham, Wood, who was instrumental in recruiting others from the collapsed firm, said it was imperative for him to join a local business with ambition and a heart that put people first.

He added: “There is a definite family feel which translates into staff who care about the standard of work they produce.

“In an industry where there is over capacity and apathy, you need the best skills to produce high quality print, we have that in abundance across the three sites.  

“My clients from Taylor Bloxham have been incredibly supportive since the company closed. In the majority of cases, there’s a longstanding relationship in place built on trust so they are happy to move with me and will benefit from the expertise of all the great people at Streamline Press, Baxters and Spectrum,” Wood added. 

Smith said that integration of the businesses and of the new recruits from Taylor Bloxham was moving apace.

“In the first couple of weeks together, we have made giant steps in integrating team members, sharing some really good ideas and spreading work around to balance daily production and delivery pressure, 2020 has started with a bang.

“Our commitment to invest in people and technology is bearing fruit with new customers coming on board on a daily basis. More broadly, it’s fair to say Leicestershire really is the print capital of the UK.”