Circle Media Group buys CPI

Circle Media Group buys CPI

Circle Media Group has bought one of Europe’s largest book printers, CPI.

The European printing and media company acquired shares and operational activities in 300-year-old CPI from shareholders in a cash transaction.

The move sees CMG become the largest independent European group in the delivery of print and media capabilities, boasting annual sales of €900m. Peter Andreou, CMG's chairman and c.e.o., described the acquisition as “transformational”, set against a backdrop of a stabilising European book market with e-book sales in decline.

Pierre-Francois Catté will continue as CPI’s c.e.o. Meanwhile Labelys, CPI’s labelling activities, was carved out prior to the acquisition and will continue as a standalone business.

The acquisition aims to further boost CMG's European printing business, “ensuring that it offers a full range of both analogue and digital capabilities” according to a company spokesperson.

CPI has revenues of €360m with 2,500 employees spanning 16 factories across five countries in Europe: France, the UK, Germany, Spain and Czech Republic. As one of Europe’s largest book printers and a history dating back to 1713, it produces over 400 million books per year. It delivers literature, scientific, technical and medical books and printed documents for major publishing houses, large industrial groups and administrative bodies.

CMG, formerly known as CirclePrinters, has 2,700 staff, with revenues of €550m. With the acquisition of CPI, Circle will have combined pro-forma annual sales of €900m and more than 5,000 employees, making it the largest independent European group in the delivery of print and media capabilities. 

The group will have 26 printing sites in 10 European countries as well as an operation in the US, 135 printing presses of which 29 are digital and will process more than one million tonnes of paper a year.

Andreou described the acquisition as a “transformational next step for us in the consolidation of the European printing industry and the creation of a profitable, world-class integrated media communication group”.

“With CPI, we complement our existing business with a leading book printer in Europe in a period where the European book market is stabilising, after some years of sharp decline and the use of e-books now declining,” he said. “This acquisition also allows us to advance in digital printing technologies and we see great potential for short-term synergies between our books division and other areas of Circle Media Group, specifically the commercial printing division.”

The transaction was completed after the approvals by competition authorities in Austria and Germany, the information and consultation procedures of CPI’s European works council and several local works councils.