Kale Print acquires Advocate Print

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Kale Print is acquiring neighbouring Advocate Print, and investing in new equipment both for itself and Advocate, which will continue as a stand-alone business unit as part of Kale.

Advocate: Staying in Rotorua
Advocate, now part of Kale Print: Staying in Rotorua

Tauranga-based Kale Print will keep Rotorua-based Advocate Print’s production centre, its staff, and the brand. Advocate’s owners Noel and Steph Merrick will step away, although Noel will remain as a consultant over the summer.

Peter Lloyd, GM, Kale Print
Delighted with acqisition: Peter Lloyd, GM, Kale Print

Peter Lloyd, general manager of Kale Print, the Bay of Plenty’s leading print company, says, “We are delighted with the acquisition of Advocate Print. This is a significant milestone for the company, and will better enable us to service our existing customers in Rotorua and expand our offering there.”

Kale has some 35 staff, and operates both offset and digital, with a new RMGT four-colour A1 amongst its production power. Kale has a new Fulfilm Iridesse digital colour printer, while Adcovate has a Fujifilm iGen. As well as being a commercial printer, Kale operates a trade service for smaller printers. Advocate is one of its customers, with Kale printing its longer-run work on its offset presses.

Lloyd said, “The two business have complimentary services with a good mix. For instance, Advocate has foiling in house, which Kale will now use. We are creating a sustainable future for the business. We have already installed a new wide format print system in the Advocate centre.”

Advocate Print, a family-owned and operated business founded in the early ‘80s by the Merrick family, credits the success of the business to the hard work and commitment of the Advocate team.

Noel Merrick says, “For us, Kale Print was a really nice fit in terms of its family ownership, environmental drive and the overall culture of the business. It has a young team with a real passion for print. Many businesses like ours face the challenge of having to look at purchasing new print technology. It is become harder to keep reinvesting in plant. Kale Print has been an industry leader in terms of investing in new technology, which can only be good for Rotorua and the wider Bay of Plenty community. Really, for our customers, not much will change apart from offering more print capabilities”.

The coming together of these two iconic family businesses has been a smooth transition. Brent Kale, operations manager for Kale Print says, “It’s been an easy journey and Noel has been great to deal with. We’ve had a great relationship with Advocate Print for a few years now, operating as its trade partner for large volume print work. We both use the same management information system which will make full integration straight forward. It has a great team too, multi skilled across all departments”.

Lloyd says, “We’re really pleased to be able to invest in Rotorua. The local community continues to be challenged by the effects of Covid, but we know this time will pass. We are already seeing the green shoots of planning for a time next year when we can have overseas tourists again and the relaxing of domestic travel restrictions. We’ll be there to support our local business community”.

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