Vale acquires Keeps Printing assets

Vale Press has purchased the assets and trading name of Berkshire-based Keeps Printing, which went into administration last month.

Keeps Printing initially entered administration on 19 May 2017.

The deal completed yesterday (6 June) for an undisclosed sum and was led by Vale chairman and founder Lynden Stowe, who said the deal had been initiated around 10 days prior. The acquisition upholds Vale’s strategy of acquiring a new business once every four years, the most recent one previous to Keeps Printing being Gloucestershire-based John Knight & Sons.

Stowe said: “We were made aware that the assets and goodwill of the business were for sale. It’s quite a good fit with our business and from the print point of view we’re quite interested in the mailing operation that they had, which is something we’ve been looking to expand on. So we’re hoping this will give us a bit of a client base but also the knowledge base on how to tap into that market a bit more."

Keeps Printing, which provided digital, litho and mail fulfilment services, went into administration on 19 May and appointed Elias Paourou and David Oprey of East Sussex-based CVR Global as administrators. At the time, Paourou said CVR was “working with agents to find a buyer for the business”, after all five of its staff, including two directors, were made redundant. 

“Obviously it’s a new client base, which we can sell the wider range of Vale services to, but it’s also a new geographical area for us. So we are looking to expand our traditional base of the South and West Midlands into the South East,” added Stowe. 

Stowe said it was too early to say whether he would be bringing back any of the redundant staff or hiring fresh.

“It’s a bit early for us to make decisions with regards to staffing,” he said. 

“They’ve been laid off for a couple of weeks, we need to get a head around the client base, see what the opportunities are and the assets and situation down there.”

The current assets include three litho presses, a one-colour, two-colour and five colour, although Stowe said some of the litho kit may be returned to the financier Close Brothers Asset Finance, along with digital equipment and mailing equipment, which includes polybagging, shrink wrapping and mailing database software. 

Founded in 1986, Evesham, Worcestershire-based Vale has 10 industrial units, covering approximately 2,800sqm. It handles a mix of trade and direct work, including fine art and commercial contracts, with a turnover of around £4.5m. 

Last year, it spent around £1m on kit upgrades at Drupa, including a new Speedmaster, and rounded this off with an October post-press spend. 

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