06 January 2018 xPrint Companies

MBO leaves Andy Watts in charge at TJ International

Former CPI and St Ives manager Andy Watts has become the largest shareholder in Cornish book printer TJ International with previous team remaining involved.

Andy Watts has led a management buyout at Cornish book printer TJ International, joined by previous owners Andy Vosper and Angus Clark.

“I have become the majority shareholder,” says Watts, “Andy Vosper will remain sales director and Angus will be executive chairman, retaining an active role. It is important for me to have him around. We want to keep a stable ship.”

Until last year, Watts had spent nine years at CPI Books in general manager roles. “I have been talking on and off with Angus for some time. Now the timing and conditions were right,” he says.

“We are keen to build on the solid foundation that’s been laid and are very excited about the future plans to build on the tremendous success achieved so far. It is very much business as usual for TJ International and we will continue focusing on providing a quality service for our customers.”

The company employs 120 at the extensive factory in Padstow generations sales of £13.5 million in 2017.

A new Canon Océ digital web press is currently being installed to join other colour inkjet presses, Koenig & Bauer sheetfed and a well equipped Kolbus bindery. There is no immediate need for substantial investment. “It is in pretty good shape with digital print. The business has been successful over the last 12 months,” says Watts.

It means there is time to assess the opportunities the business has and where there might be gaps to be filled. “I grew up in Cornwall, worked for four years at St Ives Roche, but the location is just a coincidence,” says Watts. He lives in Kent and will travel down by plane each week, at least for a temporary period.

“We look forward to the next chapter of the company’s development with the right team in place to deliver the company’s long term aspirations,” says Clark, who has been CEO. He joined the company in Padstow in 1995, working through expansion into digital printing and print on demand.

He has explored a number of ways to secure the future of the business in recent years, including the creation of an operational management team, largely from outside the company, at the start of 2016. All have since left the business. Now Watts will take his time to find his own team, aiming to “take small steps to begin with”.

“The first thing is to do a full assessment of what is required,” he says. “I’m very excited about the opportunity.”

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Andy Watts books in at TJ

Andy Watts books in at TJ

Andy Watts has led a management buy out at Padstow book printer TJ International. The move will allow a smooth transition to a younger generation, but one where previous owners Andy Vosper and Angus Clark remain on hand to ensure that it remains business as usual.

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