Home   Kent   News   Article

Fifty Shades of Grey printer is part of French finance deal

Binding line at CPI Mackays
Binding line at CPI Mackays

The Fifty Shades of Grey book printer is among a group of companies given new financial power by French investors.

CPI, a leading European book printing group that includes Chatham-based CPI Mackays, is being acquired by the Impala consortium.

The new shareholders, who include Bpifrance and the company’s management, are investing £18.3 million in a move that will cut CPI debt to £13 million.

At the end of the transaction, Impala will become CPI’s majority shareholder (52%), with Bpifrance holding 24% and a group of private investors including the company’s management 24%.

Impala chairman Jacques Veyrat said: “We intend to show, along with the company’s management, that it is possible to pursue an ambitious, value-creating strategy in a declining and evolving sector.”

CPI group chairman Pierre-François Catté said the investment would make it possible for the group to continue its strategy of adapting to a market undergoing rapid changes in terms of volume and technology.

“Our shareholder lenders did much to assist the company in the years following the 2009 restructuring," he said. "By now focusing on their role as creditors in an arrangement adapted to the group’s market environment, they continue to support the company in a responsible manner.”

UK chief executive Francois Golicheff told Print Week: “We believe this announcement demonstrates our long-term commitment to supporting our customers. It’s good news for publishers and for our commercial print customers; they can be assured that we are totally focused on our strategy of investing and innovating to adapt in a fast-evolving market. I am determined that CPI UK will continue on a path of security, profitability and growth.”

CPI also owns Antony Rowe, CPI Colour, William Clowes and Cox & Wyman. It has a workforce of 3,000 at 17 sites - including CPI Mackays in Badgers Road, Lordswood - in seven countries. The group prints around 500 million books a year for more than 2,000 customers.

CPI Mackays is CPI’s largest book manufacturing site in the UK, with 207 staff making an average of 400,000 books every 24 hours. In July 2012, CPI Mackays reported a record-breaking 10 million books during the month, fuelled by the success of E L James’ Fifty Shades trilogy.

Earlier this year, Sophie Kinsella visited CPI Mackays to see her new book Wedding Night being printed. Each day, Mackays handles an average 80 orders and makes 150 deliveries. The CPI group has invested heavily in the Chatham plant, including new presses and binding machinery. Founded in 1857, Mackays was acquired by CPI in 1999.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More