Walstead Group confirms its interest in acquiring certain Polestar assets

27th April 2016

Walstead Group confirms its interest in acquiring certain assets of Polestar UK Print Limited and Polestar Stones-Wheatons Limited, which were placed into administration on 25 April. Walstead has registered this interest with the Administrators, PwC, and if feasible would like to engage as soon as possible with key customers, trade suppliers and equipment financiers to ensure that any potential transaction has their full backing and the best chance of succeeding.

It is expected that any offer Walstead makes would be subject inter alia to clearance by the Competition and Markets Authority. The final decision to transact with Walstead would rest with the administrators of the two Polestar companies.

Mark Scanlon, Walstead chairman, said: “We foresee significant disruption to the gravure and web offset printing market if the Polestar assets were to permanently cease operating and this capacity was lost for good from the UK. We believe that in this scenario up to £100 million of print would potentially have to be sourced from the Continent, with all the attendant exchange rate risks, higher transport costs, and longer lead times. Advertising deadlines and publisher revenues would inevitably be impacted by these increased lead times at a time when print is already losing market share to digital media. In addition there would be a significant negative impact on U.K. jobs. We are therefore exploring whether there are certain Polestar sites and jobs that can be saved, although in our view it is by no means certain that a viable solution can be achieved.”

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