Why are so many overseas firms deciding to sell up their UK interests and instead focus on the opportunities that their domestic markets offer? Simon Creasey finds out.
When it was announced that the German gravure giant Prinovis intended to build a pounds 115m superplant at Liverpool, the news was enthusiastically welcomed. Around 400 new jobs will be created at the plant, which is a joint venture between Arvato, Gruner+Jahr and Axel Springer, created to cash in on the UK's blossoming magazine market.
This move to British shores bucked the recent trend of foreign companies looking to offload their UK investments due to dwindling margins and increased competition. The ambiguously worded statement: 'the group has decided to change strategy and focus on its home market due to adverse trading conditions', has been repeated all too often in the past 12 months or so by overseas firms bidding farewell to the UK.
Although the cases seem disparate, the common theme is one of substantial losses and unwillingness by investors to continue to shoulder the financial burden any longer.
Change of focus
The recent case of US firm Vertis selling its direct mail (DM) operations in Croydon, Leicester, London and Swindon to Mark Scanlon's …