Mailing business CFH kicks off acquisition plan with Scottish buy

Printing and mailing company CFH Total Document Management has acquired the business assets of another print and mail business in central Scotland. The move is the first of a potential series of acquisitions as UK-based CFH looks to expand.

FST Technologies, which has offices in Livingston and East Kilbride, saw its assets sold for an undisclosed amount in an auction process, after it went into administration last week as the result of losing a “key client”.

CFH said taking on the company’s assets would help build on its existing presence in Scotland and increase business north of the border.

Dave Broadway (pictured top right), managing director of CFH, said FST provided “interesting IT-driven solutions” for some key clients, adding that there was a “lot of synergy” between the two firms.

Broadway explained: “CFH is currently seeking suitable acquisitions. This is the first of those, and once we have understood and settled FST, we will be looking for further opportunities.”

CFH secured Clydesdale Bank as a new banking partner back in July as it prepared for its acquisition ambitions.

FST Technologies

The newly-acquired company has 41 staff turning over about £4m a year, and its acquisition will see FST technical director, Bill McFedries, joining the the CFH board to help oversee integration of the two companies. CFH said it will maintain the FST Technologies name for its trading in Scotland.

Geoff Rowley, one of the joint administrators at insolvency specialists FRP Advisory LLP, said FST Technologies had been performing well as a business prior to this year’s financial difficulty. It boasts a blue chip client base and recent investment in new technology to underpin its services, he said.

However, Rowley explained that the loss of a key client towards the end of 2010 had seen revenues suddenly dipping too low to maintain the increase in company overheads.

“Together with key stakeholders, it was decided the best course of action was to enter a formal insolvency process to protect the company’s underlying value and seek to secure a sale of the business immediately as part of a managed administration,” said Rowley.


CFH itself is currently a £28m print and mail business, based near Bath in South-West England, and has seen its turnover growing by about 20% each year since 2008.

The company has about 200 staff, running activities including litho and digital printing, mail finishing and sortation, and mailing.

The company has an access agreement with Royal Mail, and is a licensed postal operator in its own right, mailing around 66m envelopes each year on behalf of its clients.

CFH is well known for its hybrid mail service CFH Docmail, which was extended with a new iPhone app last week, allowing smartphone users to send physical postcards made from photographs taken on their iPhones. Payment for the postcards is arranged via online payment giant PayPal, with the service starting at 44 pence per postcard.

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