The Bradley Group has acquired leading Irish printer Nicholson & Bass. It is a second acquisition for the group this year having bought the Mannin Group in the Isle of Man in February to add to its ownership of Quinnstheprinters. With the opening of a new plant in Liverpool to add to its Belfast factory, Quinns has become one of the leading online trade print suppliers in the UK.
Nicholson & Bass is a very different business. It has been one of the leading printers in Northern Ireland, a consistent prize winner in the Irish Print Awards and printer of fine art, exhibition catalogues and books.
It will remain an autonomous operation within the the group operating from the existing site. “They will see the benefits of the group buying power and we are hoping to draw on the experience in the business to grow other areas of the group too. We’re really targeting the market in both the north and south of Ireland, especially with euro rates the way they are,” says 27 year old group managing director Peter Bradley. “There are hugely experienced with staff that have worked for the business longer than I have been alive.”
Johnny Megarry, managing director of Nicholson & Bass stays with the business as sales director. He welcomes the move saying “we are delighted that someone wants to invest in this business and will continue to invest in us in the future.”
The business has been in third generation of the family that started it in 1938. Chairman John Nicholson, who has continued an involvement in the business, is Megarry’s uncle.
The company has a ten-colour B1 KBA and four colour Speedmaster CD102 along with a Xerox digital press. “Investment is definitely required, change is vital for any business,” he says. “We are delighted to be part of the Bradley group. They are keen for us to continue to win awards for print.”
According to Bradley himself, N&B will be looking to win awards outside Ireland and into the UK for the quality of its print.
The acquisition takes group turnover to £13 million, on the way to a target of £20 million by the end of 2018.
Bradley Group managing director Peter Bradley admires the quality of the work that Nicholson & Bass produces, but remarks that some of its experienced staff have worked for the business longer than he has been alive.