Business

Belfast online digital printing business acquired by equity firm

Bestport has taken a majority shareholding in Northside Graphics

Northside Graphics
Technician using tablet control with format large inkjet printing blue vinyl Northside Graphics has been acquired by private equity firm Bestport (Mumemories/Getty Images)

Private equity firm Bestport has taken a majority shareholding in the north’s foremost digital printing company Northside Graphics, which began life as a repro house in 1988.

Since 2010 Northside has been operated by Gary and Neil White who, with managing director Richard Campbell, have led the transformation of the business to focus on online digital printing.

Its 70-strong team offers a diversified, customisable, and high-quality product portfolio with market leading turnaround times, and the firm has won multiple awards over the years and recently won the prestigious Printweek award for UK ‘Company of the Year’ in 2023.

It currently operates four ‘upload and print’ websites in the UK and Ireland: DigitalPrinting.co.uk, TradeDigitalPrint.co.uk, DigitalPrinting.ie and TradeDigitalPrint.ie.

Bestport’s investment and support will help Northside to accelerate its growth plans in the UK and Ireland through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions.

As part of the next stage of growth, former Astron chief executive David Mitchell will assume the role of chair of the Northside board.

Having acted as chairman in print and document management focused businesses M2 digital Limited, Euro Druck Services and recently Dublin-based pharma services business Perigord, he brings a wealth of experience within the sector. He also sits as a board director with private-equity-backed healthcare packaging company RDI.

Gary and Neil White will remain as consultants and non-executivdirectors within the Northside business, with Richard Campbell continuing as managing director.

Northside Graphics
Richard Campbell, managing director at Northside Graphics

Richard said: “Our business has achieved exceptional growth and success in recent years, and we have every confidence that this will continue going forward with Bestport as our majority shareholder.

“The investment paves the way for further expansion and investment across all areas of the business, ensuring our customers continue to benefit from exceptional quality, service, the fastest turnaround times and an even greater range of innovative products.”

James Stoddart, managing partner at Bestport, added: “The demanding nature of the B2B market means dynamic businesses like Northside are well positioned to scale – especially given the fantastic business that Gary and Neil White have built, which puts the customer at the forefront of all they do.

“We’re delighted to partner with the Northside team as they continue their impressive run of growth and expand the business across the UK and Ireland.”

Bestport was advised in the transaction by Ward Hadaway LLP. Northside Graphics was advised by Beltrae Partners and law firm A&L Goodbody.