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Blue Star buys Dominion Print

Friday, 17 November 2017
By Patrick Howard

Kelvin Gage, Dominion Print

Kelvin Gage and Kevin Maybury, Dominion owners and some of their staff, will move around the corner to the Silverwater site, as IVE group continues its growth through acquisition.

The mid-sized printer has little in the way of equipment to tempt the big group, apart from a HP Indigo from Currie Group, but it is recognized as a marketing and logistics operator with a specialized highly automated CRM software developed over many years. This fits in well with the continuing transformation of IVE Group away from being primarily a printer.

According to Matt Aitken, COO, IVE Group, the takeover consolidates IVE’s position as Australia’s leading vertically integrated marketing communications company.

“Dominion is highly regarded within the industry, with a strong reputation for quality, innovation and service. The coming together of our collective experience, passion and capabilities positions us well in the market to ensure customers continue to benefit from a wide range of services,” said Aitken.

“We look forward to welcoming Kelvin, Kevin and the Dominion team into our business, and are excited about the enhanced value proposition Blue Star can provide Dominion clients.”

Kelvin Gage in addition to being managing director of Dominion plays a high-profile role as Chairman of Asia Pacific (APJ) in Dscoop, the HP users group. He is pleased that Blue Star is fully supportive of his continuing engagement with the international body.

“I’m very grateful for all the support we’ve received from people here. I feel we’re blessed. There’s a lot of different emotions after 25 years of running the business but overall I’m looking forward to joining Blue Star for the long term,” he said.

“The synergies between our businesses are compelling. Both have a customer first culture, several decades of proven history and a pedigree of high performance, service, innovation and quality.”

Blue Star will pick up between 200 and 300 significant Dominion customers for print and logistics. According to Gage there’ll be very little change in the relationship. “I’ve told customers the name on the invoice will change but we’ll still be there, now able to offer more services.”

Annual General meeting

The takeover comes one day after IVE Group’s annual general meeting, where Geoff Selig, chairman, reviewed the major acquisitions of Franklin Web and AIW Printing for a price tag of acquisition price of $116 million, partly funded by a $40 million capital raising that was strongly supported by existing shareholders.

‘The past year is best described as transformational for the Group as we successfully entered the large format web offset sector through the acquisitions of Franklin and AIW. Our financial performance was well up on the previous year and once again within the full year guidance we communicated at the half year,’ he is reported as saying.

‘The diversified value proposition IVE takes to market continues to be compelling to our customers and we remain committed to ensuring our offering remains relevant in the complex and evolving communications landscape – we are uniquely placed to do so.’

In addition he mentioned a successful $55.6 million non-renounceable entitlement offer in August to drive further growth. With that he does not expect a need to raise further capital in the foreseeable future.

In the presentation made by Warwick Hay, managing director, apart from the entry into web printing, key initiatives for 2017 included the relocation of Blue Star Connect from three existing premises into a new 20,000m2 premises in Erskine Park, and the merging by Blue Star Display into new dedicated premises near Franklin Web in Sunshine.

Ive’s revenue for the financial year came in at $496.9 million, an increase of 30.1%. Gross profit was at 49.9%, slightly down from previous due to the lower margins received by catalogue printing.

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