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Christchurch’s Blueprint Media Acquires Griffin Press

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

One of the industry’s leading printing companies has acquired one of the industry’s oldest printing companies.

Christchurch-based Blueprint Media has bought Griffin Press which has been operating in the city for more than 70 years.

Blueprint Managing Director, Michael Lightbourne, says the move has been part of the company’s business strategy for quite some time.

"This is about consolidation and improving economies of scale, and shoring up the local print sector in doing so," he says.

Mr Lightbourne says the print sector may be a sunset industry but it has a very long tail.

"That’s where consolidation is so critical," he says. "Blueprint is a very stable and successful business, strengthened even further by the purchase of companies like Griffin."

Blueprint puts its success down to the diversity of what it offers - primarily a mixture of offset and digital printing, supported by strong relationships with printing options outside Blueprint.

"Over the last 18 years since Blueprint was established, we have adapted according to what the market demands are. No printer could be all things to everyone so through our industry knowledge and contacts, we ensured the print work was done on the best machine to suit that print job which is where our relationships with other print companies has been key. Just over two years ago we purchased Toltec and this enabled us to offer in-house manufacturing to clients but we have maintained other relationships to ensure the best options are available to our customers. This has been a prudent and sustainable business decision," says Michael.

Blueprint runs at capacity in the factory and sends any overflow to others in the sector.

"This flexibility and diversity, combined with the offset and digital printing services - and in-house design we offer - means we are an extremely stable company in the long tail I mentioned before. Our point of difference, I believe, is experience, planning, stability and strategy."

Lightbourne adds that people are of paramount importance in a business - "they are the business" - so it was a key component of the negotiations with Griffin that their staff were well looked after.

"We made sure Griffin employees were offered employment; that was really important to us."

The Griffin acquisition is also timely with Ovato, New Zealand’s biggest print and distribution company, ceasing operations in Christchurch. A printer from Ovato has joined Blueprint. Staff numbers are now at 20 and look as through they will grow in 2022.

The last of Griffin’s large equipment is being moved to Blueprint’s offices in Gasson St, this weekend.

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