simpson group
Simpson Group, Washington.
Rebecca Wayman

North East's £11m Simpson Group acquired in managerial buyout

Washington-based Simpson Group has been acquired in a management buyout, seeing the family founders hand over the reins of the £11m turnover business.

Formed in 1972 by Bill Simpson, the printing company now employs over 100 staff in the North East, and also at a satellite southern operation in Langley.

It specialises in point of purchase print for the retail sector with customers such as Tui, Next, Matalan, BETFRED and B&M amongst its portfolio.

Mark Simpson, along with his brother and sister as minor shareholders, will exit the business to pursue new interests. Current managing director, Bill McNally, and finance director, John Quinn, will stay to lead the new management team through a period of transition.

In August 2018, the new management team will take over, led by managing director, Dean Williams, who has a 30-year career in the print industry, joining Simpson Group as a YTS trainee and re-joining again as sales director in 2011.

Supporting Dean will be Mark Jerrard as commercial director, David Dowson as production director and Sarah Tishler as training and development director.

David Darcy of Vistage International, who has over 20 years of experience working with the previous and new management teams, will join as non-executive chairman.

Mark Simpson said: “We have been working for several years on a succession plan to ensure we continue our growth into the future.

“I am delighted Dean Williams and the new management team will have the ongoing support of Bill McNally, John Quinn and David Darcy as they take on the reins and deliver an exciting future for Simpson Group.”

Dean Williams, speaking on behalf of the senior management team, added: “We have been closely involved in drafting the three-year business plan for some time.

“So we are excited to drive forward our future growth plans in both retail and in new vertical sectors, and are especially looking forward to continued investment in technology to create jobs here in the North East.”

Legal advice was provided by commercial law firm, Square One Law and Ward Hadaway, with accountancy firm, Tait Walker providing corporate finance support and funding provided by Santander.

Bill McNally, current managing director, commented: “Dean, Mark, David and Sarah share our vision and will bring fresh ideas and energy to the future operation of the business which is increasingly becoming more high tech.

“Our thanks and gratitude go to Mark Simpson and his family for leading the business to this point and for facilitating a smooth handover to the next generation.”

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