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    History of CPI, first book printer in Europe


    The CPI story started in 1996 with the acquisition of Bussière, a French printer on the fringe of bankruptcy; the company was turned around in 6 months. Two years later, Hachette sold their printing facility, Brodard & Taupin, to the company that was then named CPI, after the name of its founders.
    In early 1999, Firmin-Didot, a 300 year old printing house, joined the Group and CPI became the undisputed leader of monochrome book printing in France. The CPI Group then took a big step and crossed the Channel to acquire Cox & Wyman and Liberfabrica, the parent company of Dutch printer Koninklijke Wöhrmann. This phase of UK acquisitions was completed in September with Mackays of Chatham.
    In 2000 and 2001, CPI crossed the river Rhine to acquire Clausen & Bosse, in northern Germany, and Ebner & Spiegel in the south. The Group became the largest printer of monochrome books in Germany. In 2004, the CPI Group expanded eastwards into the Czech Republic, with the acquisition of Überreuter (now Moravia Books).
    Returning to the UK, 2005 saw the acquisition of Antony Rowe, a market leader in short-run printing and POD, followed in 2006 by the Fulmar Group, a more diversified printing house, and in 2007 by William Clowes, a long-established British printer.
    The Group then expanded again in France with Aubin Imprimeur in 2007 and, more recently, in Spain with Litografia Rosés (now called Black Print) in 2010.
    Between Bussière in 1996 and CPI in 2013, there are a few million books and quite some tonnes of paper. But, above all, our Group has developed by harnessing its unique blend of skills and technologies.