Higgs expands with Jaggerprint assets buy

Commercial printer and publisher Higgs Group has taken on some of the assets and premises of the recently liquidated Victoria Printing Works (Kingston).

Surrey-based Victoria Printing Works, which traded as Jaggerprint, appointed Gareth Roberts and Rob Keyes of Reading-based KRE Corporate Recovery as liquidators on 27 September 2016. Soon afterwards KRE appointed Richard Birch & Co to help sell the assets. Following a protracted sale process, Higgs Group bought some of the assets and one of the Victoria Printing Works premises on Richmond Road, Kingston upon Thames.

Victoria Printing Works traded from three addresses on Richmond Road, two were leased and one, home to Jaggerprint Digital, was owned by the business. It is this property that Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire-based Higgs has acquired as part of the deal.

The two remaining buildings were returned to the leaseholder and the remaining Victoria Printing Works assets will now be auctioned or scrapped.

All of Jaggerprint’s circa-six staff were made redundant last year, following the appointment of KRE. However, Higgs managing director Nigel White said there was a possibility some could be offered roles when the new business opens.

White said: “We’re excited because this is extending our footprint from where we are in Henley. The business [Jaggerprint] was in operation for around 60 years or more so it’s obviously had a good following in Kingston upon Thames over the years and we would like to be able to pick up some of that business.”

Higgs purchased a five-colour Speedmaster PM 52, along with a further two-colour Heidelberg press, a Polar guillotine and various other items of finishing equipment. Some of the kit will remain in the Jaggeprint premises and some will be moved over to Higgs’ main site in Henley.

Higgs is yet to determine whether it will change the branding of the newly acquired premises or if it will remain as Jaggerprint.

Keyes said Jaggerprint had been going “for a long, long time” but a reduction in turnover combined with a high level of fixed overheads, mainly staff, put a squeeze on cashflow.

“They came to the inevitable conclusion that when there’s more money going out than coming in, it’s inevitable that there’s a time to take some sort of action,” he added.

Jaggerprint also ran two other Heidelberg litho presses, a Canon imagePress C7000VP, a Heidelberg Platen and a range of finishing kit.

According to its statement of affairs dated 27 September, Victoria Printing Works listed a surplus/deficit to preferential creditors of £159,986 and £274,684 to non-preferential creditors, with book debts of £52,000. Total deficiency/surplus as regards members was £202,698. By far its highest-owed creditor was HMRC, at just shy of £50,000.

Founded in 1877, 49-staff Higgs publishes and prints the Henley Standard newspaper and Henley Life magazine, along with offering a range of commercial print services and selling stationery. It runs Speedmasters and various other items of finishing equipment.

Customark upgrades bindery division

tcs-78-guillotineLabel printer Customark has upgraded its bindery department with the installation of a CCM Premier 78 guillotine.

The Premier 78 is part of the revamped CCM Premier range

The £22,000 machine was installed at Customark’s Calne, Wiltshire facility last month, replacing a Goodhale 920 guillotine that the 85-staff outfit had been running for more than 20 years.

It was supplied by Nottingham-based Terry Cooper Services (TCS), with which Customark already had a relationship having previously purchased a reconditioned guillotine from the company for its Cambridge site.

Customark managing director Greg Lerigo, who bought Customark out of liquidation in 2006, said he had first considered opting for a reconditioned guillotine but opted for a new one after speaking to TCS.

“I have dealt with TCS in the past and they did a great job in delivering the reconditioned one probably around two years ago to Cambridge,” said Lerigo.

“So I made the decision because it was new, good value and I could have it in 10 days; those were the driving factors for me.”

The CCM Premier 78 is part of the revamped CCM Premier range and has a cutting width of 780mm. It has an automatic knife function for repeat cutting, a deep clamp opening, which accepts more paper and therefore reduces overall cutting time, and an infrared slimline light barrier, along with an optical cutting safety line.

The investment follows on from a £60,000 spend on two Daco die-cutter rewinders, installed around six months ago. Lerigo now plans on investing around £40,000 on an Afinia Label DLP-2000 digital label press with die-cutting facility by the end of the year.

Customark produces a wide variety of industrial labels and graphics for electronics manufacturers, including Sharp, Honeywell, Makita and Schneider Electric. The £4.5m-turnover outfit last year completed a £465,000 investment with the installation of an EFI Gamsys MIS.

Along with its Calne and Cambridge sites, it also has premises in Lye in the West Midlands and Oxford, totalling around 2,740sqm of space, with the largest 1,200sqm site being in Lye.