Walstead becomes the largest British-owned printing company
LONDON - Walstead CE Limited, an affiliate of UK-based Walstead Group, and the shareholders of Let’s Print Holding AG (“LEYKAM Let’s Print”) signed a definitive agreement on 7 April 2016 whereby Walstead will acquire 100% of the shares in LEYKAM Let’s Print, the leading web offset printer in Central Europe. Completion of the transaction is subject to approval from the relevant anti-trust authorities which is expected to take approximately four weeks from signing.
As a result of this transaction, Walstead will have pro forma revenues of approximately EUR €490 million per annum and employ over 2,030 staff at 11 printing sites in five countries specialising in the printing of flyers, catalogues, magazines and supplements. The group will operate 37 heatset web offset and four gravure printing presses supported by 38 perfect binding and stitching lines and process over 565,000 tonnes of paper each year.
Founded in 1585 and headquartered in Neudörfl, near Vienna, LEYKAM Let’s Print has revenues of EUR €225 million and employs 730 staff. The group is one of the leading printing companies in Central and Eastern Europe and the largest in Austria.
The business operates from two locations in Austria, and one each in Slovenia and the Czech Republic. Over 70% of its revenues are generated from the production of flyers for the retail markets in Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. Capital expenditure on printing and binding equipment has totalled EUR €36 million since 2011.
Completion of the transaction is subject to anti-trust approval which is expected to take four weeks. Until then, both companies will remain and act as separate entities.
Mark Scanlon, chairman of Walstead Group, said: “LEYKAM Let’s Print is an exceptionally well-managed, profitable and successful business which has received high levels of investment. It will act as our hub for further expansion into Central and Eastern Europe. This acquisition will create new opportunities for us and strengthen our market position. We are creating the largest printing platform for the production of flyers, magazines and catalogues for the major European retailers, magazine and mail order publishers.”
Paul Utting, chief executive of Walstead Group, added: “We believe we can increase LEYKAM Let’s Print’s revenues and profits by continuing to provide industry-leading service and quality to major markets including Germany. This deal will also generate excellent synergies and economies of scale with our existing UK and Spain businesses. As we increase our market share in Europe we will be able to deliver unrivalled cross-selling opportunities for our customers.”