The company was founded in 1902 by two Pretoria businessmen, William Gindra and Edward Green, who started a small stationery and general printing factory in Pretorius Street and named it Caxton. In 1947 Dr. H.J. van der Bijl became Chairman of the Board; he was the driving force behind the company going public the same year, as Caxton Ltd.
In 1961 Caxton was purchased by Eagle Press and at the same time acquired its first newspaper, the South African Jewish Times. During the same year Caxton moved its operations to Doornfontein in Johannesburg. In 1968 Caxton again changed ownership, this time to Felstar Publications. During the same year The Germiston Eagle was introduced as a weekly supplement to the South African Jewish Times. This was the forerunner of all community newspapers in South Africa.
By 1978 Caxton were publishing the following newspapers fortnightly, monthly or weekly: Sandton Chronicle, North Eastern Tribune, Northcliff and Blackheath Times, Randburg Sun, Southern Courier, Mayfair-Brixton, Newlands-Melville Telegraph, Rosebank Killarney Gazette and Roodepoort Record.
In 1985 Caxton acquired CTP (Cape and Transvaal Printers), a R100-million printing company. This enabled Caxton to meet the growing demand for the high speed, high quality printing of newspapers and magazines. Caxton/CTP (as the company became popularly known) later consolidated their various subsidiary companies under the CTP banner and, post-1994, formed a partnership with the National Empowerment Consortium (NEC).
Caxton and another publisher, Perskor, merged in July 1998, forming a company with a turnover in excess of R2 billion a year. As a result of the merger The Citizen, a daily newspaper, was also acquired.