Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business

Pensord Grows With Acquisition of Aberystwyth-based Cambrian Printers


Magazine printer Pensord has bought family business Cambrian Printers, another long standing Welsh printer with a great reputation for quality over four generations, as they increase capacity and add new services to the group.

The £12m turnover Pensord prints over 400 regular publication and employs some 150 people in Pontllanfraith in the Gwent Valleys. They take the reins of circa £7m turnover, Aberystwyth-based Cambrian Printers from June 1st, with a commitment to maintain the 50 plus workforce, and sustain and build on their litho printing of catalogues and brochures and on their commercial and digital work. Cambrian’s current family owners, Robert and Tim Read will be retiring from an industry their family has worked in for 90 years.

Pensord Managing Director Darren Coxon said:

“Cambrian Printers is a well-respected name in the industry with a portfolio of long standing customers, so when the opportunity to purchase arose we jumped at it. In challenging times with a number of big printing names going to the wall, this acquisition gives us the chance to expand our capacity and takes us into new commercial territories, adding to our digital work, and broadening our footprint within Wales. Robert and Tim have been terrific to deal with, and we wish them well in their retirement, safe in the knowledge that the business is in stable ownership, and being looked after as part of the Pensord family.”

Darren led a management buyout at Pensord with Operations Director Karl Gater some seven years ago, since when they have been recognised as UK Print Company of the Year, and are current recipient of Customer Service Team of the Year in the UK print industry’s flagship awards given by the key industry title PrintWeek.

Outgoing Cambrian Printers owner Robert Read said:

“Cambrian has been a significant employer in west Wales since 1860 when we printed newspapers, and 1927 when the Read family took the helm, so when we decided to sell, it was important we found a buyer who had a real understanding of what we do, and an empathy with our staff. Pensord is a hugely respected name in the industry, building a very successful business, and winning awards and credit for their expertise and the way they treat their ‘Pensord people’, so we feel there could be no better name to take Cambrian forward from here.”

Since 2011 Pensord has invested over £10 million in technology and processes, and now boasts three latest technology Heidelberg B1 perfecting presses, a vast array of finishing and mailing, and a 24/7 handwork taskforce. Cambrian’s plant includes a KBA Rapida 106 – 10 colour perfecting press, and a 4 colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105. Digital kit includes two HP Indigos, a 5600 and a 7800.

Darren Coxon is a well know figure in the industry, currently serving as president of the British Printing Industries Federation. He has been busy recently taking on a trek of the Great Wall of China in May to raise funds for Pensord’s adopted charity, Cancer Research Wales.

Darren added:

“Cambrian shares a similar customer-focused culture to ourselves, and so we don’t foresee a great upheaval in operations and we hope that existing Cambrian clients will see business as usual and then a gradual improvement as we look to strengthen the business.”

The Cambrian name will remain for the time being, well established in a number of sectors including printing high quality catalogues for well-known national fine art auction houses.

Pensord was supported in the acquisition of Cambrian Printers by legal advice from Capital Law LLP. Financial due diligence was aided by Green & Co and corporate finance support came from Lexington Corporate Advisers.