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Eckersley buys Cross + Hamilton and 'we won’t stop here’

In its sixth acquisition in seven years, Queensland-based Eckersley Print Group (EPG) has bought Brisbane offset and digital house Cross + Hamilton Printers (CHP).

With Natalie Fletcher Tom Eckersley and Lea Eckersley

(l-r) Natalie and Micheal Fletcher of CHP with siblings Tom, Luke and Leanne Eckersley of Eckersley Print Group

“The Cross + Hamilton business was a small, family run business that was started in 1971, the same year that my father started our business, so we’ve got the same kind of ethos and the same background,” Eckersley Print Group MD and PIAA board member Tom Eckersley told Wide Format Online.

“They’ve got a couple of special products that they produce in a couple niche markets and we’ve got some good synergies there. We’ve got a lot of clients that can utilise some of the products and services they specialised in, particularly carbonless book work and speciality numbering-type applications.”

The Cross + Hamilton Printers operation in Geebung, Brisbane - formerly owned by Micheal and Natalie Fletcher - is being shifted 30 kilometres north to Eckersley Print Group's headquarters at Narangba in Moreton Bay. EPG offers a range of offset, digital and wide format printing, as well as print management, design, warehousing and logistics.

“We’ll integrate everything into Narangba,” said Eckersley. “We’re taking a fair amount of capital expenditure on board as well and we’re making the appropriate changes to the warehouses. There will be enough room.

“It was a reasonably small team and about 80% of the existing staff are coming over. The owners are a married couple and they’re off to other things so obviously they’re not coming over but the bulk of the other staff members will be here.”

Eckersley said EPG remains on the lookout for expansion opportunities.

“Acquisitions have been part of our strategy for six or seven years and we’re constantly on the lookout for other suitable businesses that we can bolt onto our group.

“As most industry observers would understand, our industry has been challenged on many fronts for a number of years, but those challenges also present opportunities.  As the industry continues to rationalize and find its new way forward, we see opportunities that can be part and parcel of our strategic growth.

“Definitely, we won’t stop here. We continue to look and we continue to find good businesses that we can add value to. Our objective is to pick the business up, bring it into the fold, add resources and services and expertise to its offering then take that back to its client base in a bigger and better way.”

EPG acquisitions in recent years have included ABC Printing, Nicholson Printers, The Printing Office, Easi File and Fine Print. 

Checking layout and colour management at EPG
 Checking layout and colour management at EPG (Facebook)