Print firm with more than 100 staff set to be taken over in buyout deal

Sarah Tishler, Dean Williams, Mark Jerrard, and David Dowson from the Simpson Group.
Sarah Tishler, Dean Williams, Mark Jerrard, and David Dowson from the Simpson Group.

A Wearside company with an £11m turnover has been taken over in a management buyout hoped to see an investment and jobs boost at the firm.

Exciting times lie ahead for the Washington-based Simpson Group which employs more than 100 people in the region, said the current managing director Bill McNally.

We have been working for several years on a succession plan to ensure we continue our growth into the future

Mark Simpson

He added: “We have a fantastic workforce and high-profile clients so the ambition for the business going forward is exciting.”

Bosses talked of the potential for more jobs with investment in technology.

Bill, and finance director John Quinn, will stay to lead the new management team through a period of transition.

The print company was formed in 1972 by Bill Simpson and has a satellite southern operation at Langley in Slough.

The company is a print specialist for the retail sector with customers such as Tui, Next, Matalan, BETFRED and B&M.

Mark Simpson, along with his brother and sister as minor shareholders, will exit the business to pursue new interests.

In August 2018 the new management team will take over, led by managing director Dean Williams, who has a 30-year career in the print industry, joining Simpson Group as a YTS trainee and re-joining again as sales director in 2011.

Supporting Dean will be Mark Jerrard as commercial director, David Dowson as production director and Sarah Tishler as training and development director. They have all been with the business for more than 10 years.

David Darcy of Vistage International, who has over 20 years’ experience working with the previous and new management teams, will join as non-executive chairman.

Mark Simpson said: “We have been working for several years on a succession plan to ensure we continue our growth into the future. I am delighted Dean Williams and the new management team will have the ongoing support of Bill McNally, John Quinn and David Darcy as they take on the reins and deliver an exciting future for Simpson Group.”

Dean Williams, speaking on behalf of the senior management team, said: “We have been closely involved in drafting the three-year business plan for some time, so we are excited to drive forward our future growth plans in both retail and in new vertical sectors, and are especially looking forward to continued investment in technology to create high value jobs here in the North East.”

Legal advice was provided by commercial law firm Square One Law and Ward Hadaway, with accountancy firm Tait Walker providing corporate finance support and funding provided by Santander.