UK-based printing ink specialist Magna Colours has announced its acquisition of fellow UK textile formulator LJ Specialities, confirming that it will continue the work of the company which has recently struggled to operate within ‘constraints’ prescribed by European REACH regulations during a period of turmoil for the global dye sector.

The original decision to close down operations, LJ Specialities has confirmed, was made after careful consideration of both historic performance and the future prospects for the business. Its parent company Plastribution has also confirmed that it will be leaving the textile sector as a direct consequence, but Magna Colours – which specialises in water-based printing inks has at the last minute picked up the goodwill and assets of the company.

REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) regulations have, since 2010, been implemented throughout the European Union with the aim of increasing chemical compliance.

The initiative, twinned with chemical company closures in China, appears to have inadvertently caused a domino effect leading to a widespread shortage of many chemicals required for the synthesis of dyes, causing unprecedented price hikes, an uncertainty of supply and – in the case of business like LJ Specialities – meant ceasing trading.

Plastribution, the larger organisation which encompassed LJ Specialities, has also confirmed it will exit the textiles sector by the end of March 2019 due to the arm of the company which provided its pigments, dyestuffs and speciality chemicals for both UK and overseas markets having been disbanded.

Mike Boswell, Managing Director of Plastribution, stated, “It has been a difficult decision to close the LJ Specialities business and not one that has been taken lightly. It is important that Plastribution concentrates its resources in the business activities that have a viable future.”

The LJ team, led by Andy Lee, will transition all operational elements of the business over to Magna Colours, including LJ employees, customers and suppliers. The company has confirmed that all existing orders placed will be supplied from LJ and managed with no change with respect to delivery or payment.

Magna Colours Chairman, Tom Abbey, stated, “Magna are delighted to have the opportunity to build on the foundations of service and technical development which LJ Specialities have created. The complimentary skill of the Magna and LJ teams gives us a superb opportunity for future growth and to serve both customer groups with additional services.”