Skip to main content

One of the largest commercial printing and manufacturing operations in southern Africa, Novus Holdings, recently made R2 million available by means of an interest-free loan to the small family-run book-binding business, Van’s Bookbinders, situated in Epping in the Western Cape.

The relationship between the two businesses goes back almost 11 years, with the print operation utilising the services of the team at Van’s Bookbinders, owned by Ivan van Oudtshoorn, ranging from artwork hand finishing to collating, packing, sewing and bookbinding.

In 2017, Novus Holdings diversified its print offering by combining digital print with traditional litho products, which was achieved via the amalgamation of Paarl Media Paarl and Digital Print Solutions into Novus Print Solutions. With its “speed to market” approach, the operation provides short- and medium-print runs to the book publishing and commercial markets.

Being active in hard-case book printing and noting the increase in demand for hard-case titles internationally, the Group bought into the idea to ensure that it had a supplier that could offer a reliable hard-case binding service. Novus Holdings seized the opportunity and participated in negotiations with the supplier; this meant Ivan had the best possible advice in purchasing the second-hand Kolbus hard-case bookbinding machine.

The Group had been striving to achieve a wider and more entrenched footprint in the hard-case book market and, to help in achieving this, David Clayton, general manager at Novus Print Solutions, liaised with the suppliers to ensure that Van’s Bookbinders was guided throughout the refurbishment, installation and running of the machine.

“We saw the opportunity to invest in the sustainability of one of our long-standing partners through this joint venture. Van’s Bookbinders has the right skill to extract the desired benefit from operating and maintaining this machine on their premises,” says David Clayton.

“It also grants Van’s Bookbinders access to a bigger market, as they can now offer double the number of book runs thereby increasing their future revenue,” he added.

“Incorporating the bookbinding machine into our business has significant potential for us and we are most grateful to Novus Holdings for entrusting us with this opportunity,” says Ian van Oudtshoorn, son of Ivan and current general manager of Van’s Bookbinders.

“With the loan received from Novus Holdings, Van’s Bookbinders already has an increased volume of work, and we are able to employ more permanent staff. This new machine has elevated us to a higher level within the industry – whereas in the past we did everything manually, now everything is automated. Today, we are able to compete against any bookbinding company in the industry. We have also created employment for 10 extra people to operate the machines,” Ivan van Oudtshoorn concluded.