Enfield Printing Company, which operates as The Magazine Printing Company, has changed ownership and a significant corporate restructuring is underway.
Merthyr magazine printer Tydfil Stephens & George Print Group (S&G) bought out the stake from Enfield Printing Company (EPC) owner and chairman Tony Stokes earlier this month.
Stokes, who founded the company in 1972, was forced to buy out the company last year following its unsuccessful sale to Evinco Holdings.
Documents seen by PrintWeek indicate that the short-run magazine company has since struggled to compete in the fiercely competitive publication market and has racked up more than Â£ 200,000 in losses.
In addition to the business challenges, the owner of EPC wanted to sell the company’s plant and was unwilling to sign a new lease. This will force EPC to vacate the building by the end of the year.
Stokes has engaged with a number of magazine printers over a possible takeover of the company, resulting in a deal with S&G Â£ 25.2million in revenue . S&G Managing Director Andrew Jones is now Managing Director of EPC.
In a letter to employees, Jones said the company is well respected, with a good reputation and good customer base.
However, he said the requirement to leave the Enfield factory meant it had not been possible to come up with a viable plan to reinvest in new equipment. EPC’s aging B2 presses have made it difficult for the company to compete with competing magazine printers with newer and more efficient printing technology.
As a result, âthe decision was made to move our manufacturing operations to S & G’s state-of-the-art South Wales plant, but to maintain a presence in London by establishing a Magazine Printing Company (MPC) satellite office with a team solely responsible for maintaining and developing MPC’s customer base, âthe letter said.
A 30-day employee consultation is underway as the changes are likely to result in a number of layoffs at EPC. EPC currently employs around fifty people.
However, it is also possible that a satellite production unit will be kept in the Enfield area.
MPC uses three eight-color Speedmaster B2 and one five-color B2 model with UV coating for printing the cover. The stand-alone operation includes perfect binding, sewing, wrapping and shipping.
Jones told PrintWeek he couldn’t comment in detail while the consultation was underway, but that EPC was negotiating as usual during the consultation period.
âNothing has yet been agreed because the consultation is ongoing. The business is operating normally. It is not closed and will remain a permanent entity, âJones said.
EPC had a turnover of Â£ 4.8million in 2015 and made a small profit of just under Â£ 84,000. Stokes loaned the company Â£ 425,233.
âI wanted to honor our suppliers who were injured [by what happened after the sale to Evinco] and I had to fund the treasury for the past 12 months, âStokes said. âI wanted to find a better solution for the business and thought we needed to find a gatekeeper for the business and the customers in the future, and what better business than S&G? “
Stokes, who is 75, will remain President and Director of EPC on a semi-retired basis.