Two West Midlands paper wholesalers have finally combined after arranging a major refinancing deal.
Beswick Paper, based in Oldbury, acquired Premier Paper Group, from Sutton Coldfield, from parent company Antalis in a £20?million deal.
But they are now integrating fully, with the help of a finance package set up with the help of PKF Corporate Finance in Birmingham, to create a £180?million company serving 4,000 customers.
New firm PPG, effectively created by a reverse takeover of Beswick by Premier, said there would not be any changes in staff among the 400 employees.
Finance director Courtney Chandler said: “If anything, more jobs will be created. “It has been a case of bringing the two companies together as a single entity.”
The group will trade under the name of Premier Beswick, with headquarters at Premier’s Midpoint Park base, in Minworth, where the firm has a warehouse capable of holding 20,000 pallets of paper.
Beswick’s HQ will go but the site will continue as one of 15 depots around the UK.
The refinancing has also seen Lloyds TSB as the sole bank for the combined group – previously Lloyds was acting for Premier and HSBC for Beswick. Legal advice for the deal was provided by Paul Hayward of law firm HBJ Gateley Wareing in Birmingham.
Along with Mr Chandler, the other businessman behind the move was Premier managing director Graham Griffiths.
The combined operation is now the largest independent paper wholesaler in the UK, holding some £12?million of stock at any one time, Mr Chandler claimed. And he added the integration would help the combined firm use its stock more efficiently, create a unified marketing approach and rationalise product lines.
“For example, there was no point in having two sets of vans delivering across the country,” he said. “This is creating very significant operational efficiencies. We are seeing big benefits.”
PKF partner Malcolm Cook said: “Combining the businesses makes a lot of sense. It gives the company the ability to expand.”
The original acquisition of Premier by Beswick took place in March. It followed the purchase of Map Merchant by European stationery firm Antalis in October 2007 where, in order for the transaction to be cleared on competition grounds, the firm had to make a commitment to the European Commission to get rid of one of its two subsidiaries in the UK.