West Yorkshire Printing Company Limited (“WyPrint” or the “Company”), a leading UK producer of in mould labelling solutions (“IML”) has been acquired by The Reflex Group Limited (“Reflex”). Forum Capital International Limited (“Forum”) and DMH Stallard LLP advised the shareholders of WyPrint on the sale. Freeths LLP and Smith Cooper Limited advised the Buyer.
Founded in 1831 by the Stansfield family, WyPrint is among the oldest registered companies in the UK and has been located in or near Wakefield, West Yorkshire for the duration of its existence. The sale brings to an end over 150 years of ownership by generations of the same family. Now based in Ossett the Company focuses on high resolution offset lithographic printing on synthetic substrates, primarily polypropylene (“PPL”), for IML. IML refers to the production of labels which are pre-printed for use in the injection moulding process. It is a highly specialised print activity, with only a handful of producers across Europe.
The Reflex Group, headquartered in Mansfield, was formed in 2002, has a turnover of over £80m and employs 550 staff across the UK. It makes self adhesive labels, linerless labels, flexible packaging, bags, carton and board and have a systems division selling thermal printers and application equipment. The acquisition marks Reflex’s first entry into the IML market.
Michael Waller, outgoing CEO of WyPrint, comments that “during my 11 year stewardship of WyPrint, the business has developed its position as a leading IML supplier. With day to day direction from Richard Dixon, the Managing Director, it is now perfectly positioned to move forward under Reflex’s ownership.”
“Reflex is a dynamic competitor in the flexible packaging and label market, and they are well managed under the leadership of Ian Kendall and Mike Turner. WyPrint adds an important product capability to Reflex’s portfolio. By acquiring the IML labelling business, a leader in the European IML market, Reflex gains an immediate position of strength in a highly specialised, growing category. I am confident that the IML labelling business will grow strongly in the Reflex stable.”
Michael Waller will step down following a transitional period after the acquisition, during which he will assist with the integration of the business into Reflex’s operations, and bring ongoing special projects to a conclusion. Richard Dixon will continue to manage the plant and work with customers to achieve the targets established by Reflex.
Stephen Scott, Managing Director of Forum added: “We were pleased to advise the selling shareholders of WyPrint on this transaction, which has enabled them to optimise value. The deal makes sense strategically for both sides, and I am sure the IML business will perform well as part of a larger group, in particular giving it access to Reflex’s extensive customer base and support structures.”
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