SCOTTISH printing company Bell & Bain has acquired its peer J Thomson Colour Printers in a deal which preserves all 300 jobs, writes Scott Wright.

Bell & Bain, which prints publications for institutions such as The Open University and Cambridge University Press, has bought Nick Thomson’s 100 per cent shareholding in J Thomson for an undisclosed sum.

The combination, which comes after Stephen Docherty led a management buyout of Bell & Bain in 2009, has created a business with a combined turnover of £30 million. The historic firms will continue to operate in their respective markets under their managing directors, Karen Baillie of Bell & Bain and Kevin Creechan at J Thomson. Thornliebank-based Bell & Bain was established in 1831 while J Thomson, which provides services to businesses across Scotland, was founded in 1952.

Mr Docherty, who will chair the merged business, said: “This exciting transaction offers us the ability to capitalise on our respective strengths to create a major force within the Scottish and UK print industry. With our combined resources we will be in a position both to expand our current operations and to invest substantially to create new efficiencies and opportunities for future growth.”