Monday, March 16, 2015

News: Alexander back to buy Garnett Dickinson

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Former CEO Nick Alexander has acquired Rotherham-based print group, Garnett Dickinson, according to Print Week.

Based in a £20m state-of-the-art facility in Manvers, Garnett Dickinson prints and mails high quality magazines, catalogues, brochures and direct marketing pieces as well as publishing the Rotherham Advertiser and other associated magazines and local newspapers. Other companies within the £30m turnover group produce digital printing and creative design.

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Alexander stepped down from the board at Garnett Dickinson after leading a management buyout (MBO) of subsidiary, Acorn Web Offset, in 2013. Having retained his shareholding, Print Week now reports that he has bought Garnett Dickinson Group, with the exception of its digital operation, for an undisclosed sum.

The publication adds that it expects GD Digital to be subject to an MBO to be led by chief executive Joel Dickinson.

The chair of Aberdeen Industry Investments, Nick Alexander has been involved in a privately backed deal for Sheffield-based manufacturer, Atkinson Walker, one of the UK's leading manufacturers of circular saw blades, and secured investment into flexible packaging specialist, Excelsior Technologies, whilst its CEO.

Garnett Dickinson acquired Acorn Web Offset in 2009 from the Trader Media Group and the 2013 disposal allowed the business to focus on its core mail order and direct marketing print operations. Despite both being owned by Alexander, they are set to operate as separate businesses.

Nick Alexander told Print Week: "While I've not been involved in the [Garnett Dickinson] business in any way for two years I know it very well, of course. In my view it produces some of the highest quality print in the UK and I'm yet to see anyone that can produce better, and it's got great staff and customers.

"There is a turnaround job to do insofar as refocusing and that sort of thing, but this was a solvent acquisition of a good business. It is a tough market, but you can be successful in a tough market. But you need to be specialist, focused and you need to let the people in charge of the business run the business."

A family firm, Garnett Dickinson can trace its history back to 1858 in the back of a busy stationery shop where it first published the The South Yorkshire & Rotherham Advertiser.

Garnett Dickinson website

Images: Garnett Dickinson / Facebook

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