08 July 2018 Business

Twin deals as hungry Paragon takes on St Ives and Imprimus

Expansion minder customer communications business Paragon has completed two further acquisitions almost simultaneously.

Paragon Group has taken turnover in customer communications to more than £700 million with the acquisition of Imprimus, its second acquisition in as many weeks.

A week earlier the company had bought the St Ives Managed Service operation, the last direct interest in print that was once the UK’s second largest printer had had. This brought turnover of €40 million to the group but no production facilities.

Imprimus operates from a plant in Redruth, Cornwall, and support operation in Dartford. It generates sales of £14 million in transactional print, direct mail and wealth management booklets. While this is similar to many of the products produced elsewhere in Paragon, the company says there is little overlap in the customer base.

The UK turnover of the customer communications division will increase to more than £250 million with the deal and add two plants to a network of 14 sites across the country.

Jeremy Walters, CEO of Paragon Customer Communications UK, says: “The acquisition strengthens Paragon’s position as one of the most trusted and reliable service providers in the UK transactional and regulatory communications market.”

“Imprimus is a successful business which enriches the operational capabilities of the group in the sphere of transactional communications,” says a statement. The immediate gain will come from exploiting postage optimisation opportunities and digital channels.

Imprimus was formed through a buyout of the UK operations of Stralfors in September 2016, funded by Aurelius Investments. Managing director Tony Plummer will stay with the business. The operation is well invested having switched to three Ricoh Pro C9110 engines as the main production platform last year.

Sims, by contrast is very much a service business with 30 staff handling print supply chain operations using a bespoke technology platform that will complement Paragon’s own technology. This has been added to by significant investment in inbound mail handling capabilities to treat both posted and email responses in the same automated workflow. “Sims has a strong reputation as a provider of value added services and has a unique offering with the proprietary technology DNA,” says Walters.

Paragon has also acquired FT Solutions and Kingswood iOptus this year through distress sales.

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Dagenham site

Dagenham site

Paragon Customer Communications has gained an extra production site as a result of the purchase of Imprimus, the former Strtalfors business with a factory in Cornwall. It has also acquired the St Ives print management business, SIIMS, and its DNA technology.

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