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Rap Spiderweb Ltd - Sale and HP Back

RAP Spiderweb case study

Financial support ensures continued growth in challenging industry

Rap Spiderweb Ltd is a Greater Manchester based print company, incorporated in 1960. 

The company offers lithographic and digital print services, data handling and processing, mailing and fulfilment services. They operate two Heidelberg Speedmaster Lithographic presses and a brand new Xerox Versant 2100 digital press, along with a host of finishing equipment. 


Having owned the business for nearly 20 years, the departing shareholder and Director sold the business to James Tattum and Diane Horsfall.

Diane has successfully managed the business for more than two decades in the role of General Manager, overseeing production, order management and as an outstanding supportive team leader. This in particular is evidenced by the length of service of her staff, currently averaging 17 years. Given Diane’s continued dedication to the business, upon completion of the sale it was agreed that she would be the new Managing Director, allowing her a greater opportunity to steer the business at a strategic level.

James, an already highly successful print broker with an abundance of knowledge and experience in print sales, brings particular specialisms in complex projects and fulfilment work. Utilising Rap’s presses for his existing customers will ensure turnover is quickly increased, allowing the business to move forward from its already strong position. 

The deal

Joe Hall, Area Sales Manager of Close Brothers Asset Finance, and Andrew Metcalfe, Deputy Head of Sales (North and Midlands) of Close Brothers Invoice Finance, were approached by James and Diane to assist with the funding for the deal. 

The required funding was successfully raised against the plant and machinery with an equal contribution from the partners to fund the purchase of the shares from the former owner. Invoice finance was also put in place to ensure that cash flow requirements were met post buyout. 

The future

The combination of ‘old and new’ brings depth and experience in the operations department along with tenacity and a network of clients in the sales department. The already highly successful sales team has been further strengthened by the recent appointment of Damian O’Hare who brings with him a wealth of existing relationships who are already benefitting from the outstanding service and quality Rap are renowned for. With this and the new management structure in place, the company is now well placed to continue to grow and flourish in what is often considered a challenging industry. 

Commenting on the speed and efficiency with which Close Brothers completed the deal Diane had this to say, “Joe and Andrew remained unfazed by the challenging timescales the deal demanded and we are keen to work with Close Brothers going forward.”

James added, “We see them as much more than just a finance provider and their support and industry expertise are invaluable to us. I am looking forward to growing the company, safe in the knowledge that we have the backing of such an accomplished finance company.”