Mailing equipment firms agree acquisition deal

Feb 15, 2020

Partners meeting in cafe to discuss cooperation

THE SALE of franking machine supplier DPS is one of a series of high-profile deals completed by lawyers at Howes Percival in Northampton.

Dunstable-based Digital Post Solutions has been acquired by The Mailing Room, the UK’s largest independent provider of mailroom equipment and consumables.

The deal enables DPS co-founder Terry Smart to retire. Fellow co-founder Mark Steele and director James Johnson will help to integrate DPS’s accounts into TMR’s organisation. 

Digital Post Solutions has been on TMR’s radar for some time. The company, headquartered in Manchester, saw agood fit between the organisations’ operating styles, each with a strong emphasis on customer support, dedicated account management and state-of-the-art mailroom technology. 

Apart from adding considerable market know-how and expertise, the deal brings a substantial tranche of user installations, more in-depth knowledge of automated folder-inserter systems and greater market presence within the Home Counties and M25 corridor.

The Mailing Room’s group managing director Ian Davidson said: “Although digital substitution of letters and cards has impacted on the domestic postal market, the business sector is still holding up well.

“Mail is seen as a medium of authority in the business world, for circulating invoices, membership drives, electoral notices, confidential healthcare information and the like, while commercial emails have been hampered by the impact of GDPR and the need to obtain consent.”

The DPS acquisition gives TMR a market foothold throughout the country. It has developed a strong portfolio of mailroom supplies and services, offering nationwide equipment installation, licensed inspection, servicing and repair, as required by Royal Mail for franking purposes, and an online sales operation covering consumables, spares and accessories. Its customer database will now exceed 7,500 accounts, embracing private, public and voluntary sector organisations.

Mr Davidson said: “At the same time Royal Mail parcel traffic has risen almost 6% and more independent carriers are entering the market. So, with parcel shipping volumes on the rise, multi-carrier usage the norm, and increasing shipping fees and size ratings, hard-pressed business users need technology that takes the guesswork out of parcel and package shipping.”

DPS was advised by corporate and commercial lawyers at regional law firm Howes Percival’s Northampton office led by corporate team specialists director Matt Thompson and partner Gerald Couldrake.

The department has also completed the cross-border trade sale of EasyDo Products, a company which designs, manufactures and sells effective household cleaning tools into retail outlets across the world, to an American buyer. 

EasyDo, with a manufacturing facility based in Wellingborough, manufactures the refillable and dispending Dishmatic washing up tool, as well as other household brands including Glide, Bathmatic, Linti and homeproud. 

The team at Howes Percival worked closely with the corporate finance team at Grant Thornton to achieve an exit for the family shareholders. 

They have completed the disposal of both Metrol Springs Ltd and Nitro Springs Manufacturing Ltd to Swedish firm Lesjöfors AB. Northampton-based Metrol is a leading manufacturer of tooling gas springs, special purpose gas springs, and gas struts. Metrol serves the industrial and automotive sectors and has a customer base that spans the UK, Europe, the USA and Asia. 

Lesjöfors has also acquired the real estate on which the manufacturing plant is located through shares in Nitro Springs Manufacturing Ltd. Howes Percival once again teamed up with the corporate finance team at Grant Thornton to reach a successful outcome for the shareholders. 

The corporate team were assisted by commercial property lawyers Lucy Lord  and Alexandra Kirkwood, with employment lawyers Simon DeMaid and Hannah Pryce.

Matt Thompson

Mr Thompson said: “The three transactions followed an extremely busy period for local deals. Despite much political and economic uncertainty throughout the last 12 months, we have seen an increase in instructions from new and existing clients who are still keen to grow and expand their businesses or exit and realise their life’s work. 

“It has been an absolute delight to work with the shareholders of EasyDo, DPS and Metrol over the last few months to conclude each of the transactions, and we look forward to following the success of the businesses as they continue to grow under new ownership.” 

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