Venn Holdings, an acquisition vehicle created by Andy Rae and Anthony Thirlby, has acquired and rebranded Whitchurch, Hampshire-based John Dollin Printing, with a view to pushing up the break-even run length point between litho and digital print.

Rae, formerly head of global marketing at Heidelberg and more recently head of sheet-fed marketing at Koenig & Bauer, and Thirlby, who was managing director at EPS Colour and then global head of commercial at Heidelberg, see the purchase of the high-end commercial print business the first step in a strategy to create a ‘technology-driven print group across the commercial, label and packaging sectors’ and say they are ‘already talking with other prospective group additions’.

Mr Thirlby stated, We have talked about working together for the last five years; we both love the industry and have a large and diverse business network between us. The timing is perfect and starts with a known commercial platform. We are committed to using market-leading technology and processes across all three segments of the industry to diversify our group portfolio.’

The purchase of John Dollin Printing was funded by Compass Business Finance and the company has been rebranded as JDP. Mr Rae explained, ‘Becoming JDP retains the heritage of the original family name, reflects the membership of an ambitious acquisitive group and modernises the look to portray a technology aura, which is the aim of our future.’

Mr Rae told Digital Printer, ‘Our background has always been predominantly litho technology and we worked hard on proving the lowest break-even capability of an offset press versus digital. Now we have bought JDP we are going to spin that 180 degrees and push the break even point up. This will surprise the offset suppliers!’

Two sales directors have also been appointed, Roy Heeney and Jenny Eagle, both of whom worked with Thirlby at ESP.