New investment for York Mailing

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York Mailing, one of the first Northern-based businesses backed by BGF (Business Growth Fund), has announced new investment and changes to its management team following a period of significant growth.

The management buy-out has been led by current CFO Stephen Goodman and financially backed by Pricoa Capital Group. Chris Ingram, who co-founded the business in 1999, becomes chairman and current MD Mike Newbould will also remain on the board, taking on the role of interim CEO. Stephen Goodman will transition into the CEO role, as well as leading the wider senior management team who have also become shareholders in the business.

Both Mr Ingram and Mr Newbould will also remain minority investors in the business alongside BGF, who have partially exited from their original £10m investment.

York Mailing specialises in the production of retail flyers, media inserts and quality catalogues. In the past two years, with BGF’s financial backing, revenues have grown from £69m to more than £100m through acquisitive and organic growth and significant investment in new machinery. This has resulted in the creation of 275 jobs, more than a 50 per cent increase in earnings to £12m EBITDA and value creation for all shareholders.

York Mailing acquired The Lettershop Group in August 2013. This was followed by the acquisition of Go Direct Marketing in September 2014, bringing a new data-driven analytics division.

Mr Ingram said: “Over the years, Mike and I have been fortunate to have recruited an exceptionally strong management team who have been critical in helping us build York Mailing into a profitable business of scale. We are delighted to be supporting their ambition and energy to grow the business even further, all the while maintaining the standards of service that are instilled right across the organisation.”

Mr Goodman said: “Chris and Mike have built a well invested business, with excellent customer relationships and a strong sales pipeline. The management team at York Mailing are excited by this opportunity and delighted to have the support of Pricoa, Chris, Mike and BGF.”

Andy Gregory, regional director for the North at BGF said: “In the two years since we invested in York Mailing, the business has gone from strength to strength. We are fully supportive of this transaction, which has resulted in BGF partially exiting our investment but also retaining – alongside Chris and Mike – a smaller minority stake.

“We believe there is even further growth potential in the business and as such are delighted to have been able to realise a gain whilst rolling-over some of our investment to support the new management structure.”

Stephen Welton, CEO of BGF commented: “York Mailing is an example of the talent that exists within Britain’s small and mid-sized business community. It has been both exciting and a pleasure to see Chris and Mike achieve their aspirations for the business over the past two years.

“Crucially, this deal demonstrates BGF’s ability to be flexible in how we exit our investments, and remain aligned to the aspirations of the companies we back throughout our tenure as their investors. That’s a very powerful model and one that we believe is creating a robust and sustainable funding solution for growing companies.”

BGF is an independent organisation set up to back growing smaller and mid-sized businesses by providing equity capital in exchange for minority stakes. This deal represents BGF’s first exit and return on capital since it began investing in 2011. BGF’s long-term funding structure means that while it remains a minority investor of York, the initial return made from this deal will be reinvested into other growing companies.

The deal was led for BGF by Richard Taylor. Richard also led the original investment in York Mailing in July 2013.