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End game – Blue Star buys GEON in NSW and Victoria

Wednesday, 06 March 2013
By Print 21 Online Article

Geoff Selig is taking on GEON’s operations in Banksmeadow, Mt. Waverley and Parramatta, with plans to rationalise the printing sites in both cities and job losses inevitable.

The deal for the acquisition was struck late yesterday between Blue Star Australia, of which Selig is managing director, and GEON’s receivers, that sees the indebted print group’s Banksmeadow and Parramatta sites in NSW, along with its Mt. Waverley site in Victoria, in new hands.

“We’ve reached a binding agreement with the receivers to acquire selected assets and customers,” says Selig (pictured). “We didn’t sign a deal until late last night.

“The agreement is for GEON Banksmeadow, Mt. Waverley (in Victoria), and AP Mailing in Parramatta (NSW),” he says.

The move comes only two days after Blue Star NZ owner, Tom Sturgess, acquired GEON’s Christchurch-based Kiwi Labels business.

Blue Star says it will commence operating the relevant GEON sites immediately, working closely with GEON management to ensure ‘ongoing high service levels to customers’.

Receiver, Shaun Fraser of McGrathNicol, says the deal is “a good outcome for GEON’s east coast business and customers, which has been achieved in very challenging circumstances.

“It is pleasing that Blue Star will offer jobs to a number of GEON staff in Sydney, Melbourne, Parramatta and ACT and we plan to work quickly over the next few days to ensure an orderly transition,” he says.

Blue Star indicates that the GEON facilities it has acquired will be closed down, with the operations to be integrated into Blue Star’s existing operations in the NSW and Victoria regions. While it is not yet clear how many GEON jobs will be lost in the integration, Blue Star says it will retain a ‘meaningful’ number of staff.

Reports indicate that up to 460 jobs across the two states could be at risk in the sale and subsequent integration.

According to Selig, GEON CEO Graham Morgan is joining Blue Star to help oversee the integration of the two companies’ operations. It is not yet clear whether this will be a long-term or short-term appointment.

In a statement, Blue Star said:

Blue Star do not intend to continue operating at GEON’s current facilities moving forward, and will over the short term undertake a managed integration of the relevant operations into the existing Blue Star operations in NSW, Victoria and the ACT.

A meaningful number of existing GEON employees will be offered employment with Blue Star as part of this integration.”

Selig says that, “the acquisition of these selected GEON assets provides us with a unique opportunity to bring together two outstanding businesses that have been built on extremely high levels of customer service, responsiveness, a diverse product offering and exceptional quality.

“It also enhances the sustainability of our existing operations to further support ongoing high levels of investment across our business. We are delighted to have the opportunity moving forward of working with a meaningful number of talented and committed GEON employees,” he says.

71 Responses to “End game – Blue Star buys GEON in NSW and Victoria”

  1. March 06, 2013 at 10:55 am,

    Blue Star employee
    said:

    Well that looks like some jobs saved.

    I want to know if the suppliers will be paid in full now, or is Blue Star walking away from the debt?

    So will the Auckland plant be next for Blue Star?

    Seems like a game of shooting fish in a barrel to me…

  2. March 06, 2013 at 11:06 am,

    Inky McFee
    said:

    At least this is a reasonably sensible outcome. Sadly not for all of the staff, but a fast resolution is best for the market. It won’t be good news for the creditors though. Bluestar was bought for a relative song, and it’s hard to imagine they paid top dollar for this

  3. March 06, 2013 at 11:06 am,

    employee
    said:

    That’s great news. I just hope all of us here in Highbrook can get the same result.

  4. March 06, 2013 at 11:12 am,

    Ink Farmer
    said:

    Boy are the Seligs on a roll!
    A sad day for employess, an overdue and necessary day for Australian print overall. Hopefully better times for print moving forward.

  5. March 06, 2013 at 11:22 am,

    Half Tone Dot
    said:

    Yes but where did they get the MONEY all $ 100 million of it think! How can it be good news that our industry is run by banks? Remember the G F C anyone ?

  6. March 06, 2013 at 11:23 am,

    Ex GEON
    said:

    Just re-shuffling of the deck chairs on sinking ships.
    Leap forward five yrs and the whole ugly scenario will start again.

    Couldn’t think of a more incestuous depraved industry to work in.

    Have tried to not be one of the negatives commenting from the sides but to think this is good news for the industry is too optimistic too soon.

  7. March 06, 2013 at 11:44 am,

    The Printa
    said:

    We have seen this before Focus and Greenloch now Blue Star and Geon , wait till the business is in the death throws buy it for nothing and screw the suppliers. Yes great for the industry, NOT !!

  8. March 06, 2013 at 11:49 am,

    Supplier
    said:

    So , hopefully as many jobs as possible will get saved with Blue Star buying GEON’s big sites…will the suppliers get paid so they can keep their staff in jobs ?

  9. March 06, 2013 at 11:51 am,

    new management
    said:

    GEON, Wellington print section sold. Bindary staff surplus to requirements.

    Current Wellington management to remain.

    NO HOPE FOR REST OF EMPLOYEES.

    What a mess.

  10. March 06, 2013 at 12:03 pm,

    said:

    Too much control to too few companies in the printing industry – this will be a bad result to the small players in the printing industry

  11. March 06, 2013 at 12:04 pm,

    Vamp
    said:

    Wow…unbelievable…Blue Star has just been through a similar thing. How is it that one constantly struggling company can obtain funding to buy a company that is under administration. Seriously…they are delaying the downfall of them both…AGAIN…this practice needs to stop..it is embarrassing to the industry. All this means is that the same thing will happen again (probably in under a year) and the results will be even more devastating.

  12. March 06, 2013 at 12:08 pm,

    said:

    GEON and BLUE STAR are both guilty or raping this industry we work in, their ethics over the years have been nothing short of criminal and have no regard for the business’ they have destroyed along the way. I say it is high time both of them disappear back into the holes they first emerged from and let the rest of us attempt to rebuild a once very vibrant and profitable industry to be a part of.

    I feel for the employees who will lose their jobs, it is very sad and I assume there will be a number of very talented people just leave the industry altogether.

    Another sad day for Printing in Australia.

  13. March 06, 2013 at 12:48 pm,

    Angry employee
    said:

    It was only Monday that we received an email from Graham Morgan that he was behind us and to keep up the fight!! Now I hear GEON Australia is sold to Bluestar and Graham has been employed by them. To say I feel betrayed is an understatement. What ever happened to the leader/captain staying to the bitter end to look out for the employees. One question for Graham – what about NZ (you know Graham the NZ operation that has propped up Australia for god knows how long) I hope you Graham and your supposed leadership team are proud of yourselves. By the way, fantastic news for the GEON Aus employees, just save a thought for your NZ mates!!

  14. March 06, 2013 at 1:05 pm,

    Banksy
    said:

    Have to point out that the Bluestar that bought Geon is not the same organisation that has been circling the drain for years. When the Seligs took it over they didn’t get lumbered with the finance debts that the previous owners had to pay. The Selig owned operation is debt free according to them and in good nick – they are not going anywhere.

    As soon as Geon went into receivership all those Geon jobs went and the suppliers lost their dough. Nothing Bluestar can do will bring them back – it was simple economics that meant one had to fail and in the end it was Geon.

    There might be one more big printer to fall and a couple of mid size but the truth is that Bluestar should be a stable company from here on in. I feel truly sorry for the staff and suppliers of Geon but the reality is this takeover and rationalisation of assets is a good thing for both Bluestar and the domestic industry.

  15. March 06, 2013 at 2:50 pm,

    Employee
    said:

    Well senior management is to blame for the state of GEON and Bluestar has just hired all of the senior Management. I really don’t see the logic in this… The rest of us employees are still in the dark of our fate until tomorrow 2pm. We have not seen any of our senior Management since they secured their positions with Bluestar. Just an absolute debacle…. “I am in this with you” I congratulate you Graham you played us all!

  16. March 06, 2013 at 2:51 pm,

    Ink Farmer
    said:

    Good point Banksy – Bluestar carrys the name but not the evil and incompetence of old. New owner, fresh start. Be thankful there is some print blood back in town. The Graham Morgan thing baffles me though – he’s obviously a total failure – move on!

  17. March 06, 2013 at 3:00 pm,

    Not happy
    said:

    Any news if contractors will be paid?

  18. March 06, 2013 at 3:05 pm,

    Buster
    said:

    How can the industry, suppliers and decent folk accept that the CEO who rang a business into the ground and collapsed keeps a job but all those he so called cares about, respects, wants loyalty will be left out to dry and defend for themselves. Suppliers lose, other printers will lose and if customers follow the so-called loyalty the industry has not changed one bit. Any decent Director / shareholder would have removed the leadership and CEO long ago. A sad day in regards to respect and loyalty

  19. March 06, 2013 at 3:20 pm,

    Graeme Price (disgusted ex GEON)
    said:

    Please don’t forget the 60 odd employees from GEON Eagle Farm who were culled on Monday, and not given this opportunity for re-employment to Blue Star. What a disgraceful underhanded ruse by Morgan and his cronies to keep their nests feathered at the expense of all the hard working honest ex employees from Eagle Farm Brisbane. Karma will have it’s day.

  20. March 06, 2013 at 3:26 pm,

    concerned
    said:

    Oh, how nice Graham now goes to Blue Star.. What about us people who are stuck at geon.
    We had meetings today and you know what – I doubt many of us will have jobs after tomorrow.
    Oh and yes, we won’t be getting our redundancy for some months. How can this be? There needs to be some serious questions asked by ASIC into all the shady deals that went on. I’m so sick of this bull crap. Now I have another day of suffering waiting to be kicked out the Geon door.

  21. March 06, 2013 at 4:07 pm,

    GEON_employee
    said:

    So, Morgan at Blue Star. After countless emails from Morgan making out as if he was standing by his staff and how proud he was of the loyalty we had, more like how proud he is of screwing his staff over. As the GEON staff have taken paycuts, wage freezes, unpaid days all for our fearless leader to feed his pocket. Who’s next? Your SLT team?

  22. March 06, 2013 at 4:16 pm,

    Employee
    said:

    In response to your article “According to Selig, GEON CEO Graham Morgan is joining Blue Star to help oversee the integration of the two companies’ operations. It is not yet clear whether this will be a long-term or short-term appointment.” He secured 5 year contract with Bluestar including a number of other senior staff… Just ridiculous!

  23. March 06, 2013 at 4:19 pm,

    Get Real
    said:

    Geon employees past and present – stop taking it lying down! Read this please
    http://www.workforceguardian.com.au/blog/directors%27-compliance/

    You need legal confirmation but the directors of the Geon group of companies up to KKRM’s ‘acquisition’ (of the company, not the debt) ARE responsible for what you are owed. The company was not in receivership then…KKRM put it into receivership. So, I suggest
    1) Search directors up to around 8th February 2013 – the day KKRM took control of geon. You will find Samford Maier (NZ) and Jack Crumlin (Aus) and others including GRESHAM director members, certainly Mark Rimmer. You can do this on ASIC for a small fee.
    2) Sue the former directors personally for everything you are owed up to 8th February – they were 100% responsible for compliance. Get support from the AMWU, Workplace Guardian and FWA.

    You must help yourselves in this. Sorry for the situation you find yourselves in. Gresham is majority owned by Wesfarmers, who own Coles and Bunnings, Officeworks etc. Complain all the way to the top! Get mainstream media involved and embarass the hell out of Gresham & Wesfarmers.

    Would this also work for Suppliers to Geon up to 8th February? I don’t know; check your legals.

  24. March 06, 2013 at 4:40 pm,

    Just another Tom
    said:

    This reeks of an inside job to me – absolute highway corporate robbery if you ask me! My heart goes out to all those who are owed money from Geon. I wish that people would boycott Blue Star and not do business with them – like i said – this reeks of an inside job!

  25. March 06, 2013 at 4:41 pm,

    kiwi
    said:

    Would just like to say a big thankyou to Print 21 for keeping us all up to date with what has been happening to us all for a long time.

    You have been bad mouthed by Morgan and at times he has tried to discredit you at staff meetings and through his blogs which were on our notice boards on a weekly basis. Print 21 has become the new printers bible and almost everything you have reported has been extremely accurate and very little has been wide of the mark..CONGRATULATIONS and a big thankyou from us kiwis. Without you we would have been completely in the dark and would have been brainwashed even more than we were.

  26. March 06, 2013 at 5:35 pm,

    said:

    This is such a sad day for the typical Australian blue collar worker and a big win for corperate greed…
    Geoff, when is enough, enough???

  27. March 06, 2013 at 5:48 pm,

    said:

    Not happy staff at Geon!

  28. March 06, 2013 at 5:55 pm,

    Sideline
    said:

    There is plenty of blame surrounding the senior management, let’s not forget the real people to blame, ultimately Gresham Private Equity who geared these companies up with debt with no understanding of the Industry.

    Could be a good time to hear from Mr. Mark Rimmer and Mr Roy McKelvie from Gresham who schemed this master plan back in 2006.

  29. March 06, 2013 at 6:27 pm,

    Daz
    said:

    Its sad to see so many people out of work but honestly printers need to wake up as to why so many printers are falling over. Yes, Geon’s collapse was probably caused by bad management but I am sure there are other factors too as in the case of Vega Press. I’m talking print brokers. Hopefully Blue Star is not planning on dealing with print brokers who ultimately are the ones screwing every printer on price by dutch auctioning every print job so they can take massive profits themselves while printers struggle to make a dollar. Geon was known to cut prices by up to 30% just to keep work and I could almost guarantee it was caused from a print broker’s attempt at advising Geon’s clients that they can save them 20% by screwing 30 other printers on price until someone gives in. There are so many printers struggling at the moment that there is always another printer who is cheaper. It appears to me no-one cares about service or quality but only price these days. All printers need to work directly business to business and cut out any broker, they will take every cent they can and leave nothing for printers who are the manufactures investing in million dollar equipment and R&D. Those dealing with brokers should raise all prices by 30% so the print industry can recover otherwise you will see many more printers falling over.

  30. March 06, 2013 at 6:28 pm,

    Just another Tom
    said:

    I give Blue Star – another 6 months of trading

  31. March 06, 2013 at 6:52 pm,

    Wayne
    said:

    There have been many notorious traitors in history – Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Christ, Lord Haw Haw, Vidkum Quisling, Mata Hari, Cassius and Brutus – and today the GEON CEO has been added to that nefarious list.
    After having preached for years on the virtues of GEON, its “Vision and Values’ and the “GEON Way’, the CEO has slunk away, leaving behind a wrecked company, the lives of many of GEON’s employees in tatters, hundreds of millions of dollars of losses, and tens of millions of dollars owed to suppliers.
    The CEO did not have the ability nor the experience to manage GEON successfully. Some of the decisions he made were so ridiculous that they would be funny if they had not had such a deleterious effect upon the company – decisions such as the introduction of the inane LEAP programme, with its factory lines and Red Tag areas, the unbelievably stupid “Brand Refresh’, where a change of font, and colour of the O of GEON, was supposed to convey to customers a different “look and feel’ of the company, the constant reorganisations, the crazy emphasis on personnel matters, and the huge number of manuals and regulations that were introduced. At times, it seemed that he had given up hope of making a profit and so concentrated on all other areas of the business. Furthermore, he surrounded himself with “Yes” men, and ruthlessly disposed of any executive who posed a threat to him.

  32. March 06, 2013 at 7:21 pm,

    Andrew
    said:

    And which of the senior managers are being employed by Blue Star as “advisors?”
    They have no conscience…they have stuffed Geon, how can they “advise” on effective management?

  33. March 06, 2013 at 8:43 pm,

    Integrity
    said:

    Thank you Blue Star – now I am finally forced to make the decision I should have made months ago – to get out of this rat hole and get a life! No longer do I have to watch and listen to the useless corporate players knifing each other in the back, and pumping themselves up. Nor do I have to watch senseless wastage of money and sit in endless meetings.while people with big titles try to justify their positions.. Goodbye GEON, it has been a helluva ride – HELLO LIFE!

  34. March 06, 2013 at 10:02 pm,

    Disgusted Ex-Eagle Farm Emploee
    said:

    GEON … Now I understand what it means … Great Employees Offered Nothing. Where is my seperation certificate?

  35. March 07, 2013 at 1:08 am,

    GEON Supplier
    said:

    I am a small business owner, who is owed $80,000 by GEON.
    I was going to buy a house for my family this year.
    Thanks…

  36. March 07, 2013 at 5:23 am,

    Blue collar
    said:

    My kids ran to the front door yesterday and asked me if I had a job,
    I told them no, we as a family held each other and we cried.
    I have just been woken up 4am by my son who said, Daddy does this
    mean we won’t be going on holidays in 2 weeks time!
    Too all of you who deflected Geon Mt Waverley to Blue Star,
    What do you think I should have said?!
    Us workers on the floor worked under enormous pressure for a long time. We
    Had to put up with so much crap such as one manager taking photos of
    how unclean we kept the factory.
    I am so disappointed it has ended up like this and feel for the talent that got left behind.
    One last thing, I hear Blue Star management were very happy with the lines on the floor?

  37. March 07, 2013 at 6:31 am,

    said:

    Geon Bindery
    Thirty years experience lends me to make this statement without prejudice.
    The Geon Melbourne Bindery was the most productive I have ever witnessed, a total credit to the Bindery staff and line managers who supported them. Just in case the message is not clear, they were incredible. Hard working to a man does not even come close to describing them.
    Sad that all their hard work was not enough to feed the corporate hubris monster.

  38. March 07, 2013 at 7:45 am,

    Built Caxton to be let go by blue star
    said:

    To all employees of GEON, my heart goes out to you. The Blue Star situation is all about how much the sleighs can get for themselves and their shareholders. When made redundant from Caxton/Blue Star recently we were only paid for 2 yrs service (the time Caxton has been going) and our previous service to Quality Images was not honored as in their words “we bought quality and saved your jobs 2 years ago and don’t think we have to pay for that time” although contracts signed at the takeover said they would honor our entitlements.

  39. March 07, 2013 at 8:29 am,

    Roland
    said:

    Perhaps activities of late by the directors of GEON ought to be investigated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). There may have been breaches of fiduciary duties amongst other breaches of the Corporations Act on several known occasions. However, this forum is not where judgement should be entered, it is best dealt with by an equity court. In situations like this, ex employees more than likely have grounds for recourse. It’s best a group be formed and a class action be put into motion.

    We are not doing ourselves any favours by continuing to complain about the shenanigans of the CEO and his leadership team – the best way to deal with this is to give ASIC enough grounds to investigate the speculated underhanded events of late. Only then directors will be held responsible for any breaches they have committed.

    As Scott said, this is a very sad day for printing in Australia and it is our duty to bring the responsible individuals to justice.

  40. March 07, 2013 at 9:40 am,

    said:

    Today we will mostly all be unemployed and have no clue as to what to do or where to go. Those responsible for this I hope you sleep well and that your children don’t get affected as ours do. Remember that karma has a way of dealing with life in its own way. You drove the strategy that led us down this path but you get to do it all again.

    All the best to all staff, and I wish those who survive well.

  41. March 07, 2013 at 10:05 am,

    Derek
    said:

    I feel sorry for the workers at both Blue Star and Geon, they have been let down by very poor senior management , who have zero knowledge of the industry, mindless aquisitions etc, and stake holders that have been conned far too easily into backing them. In regard to the suppliers, in many ways they only have themselves to blame, they should have seen the signs that all was not well, and enforced far tighter credit controls. As will be seen in the weeks to come, they can kiss their money goodbye.
    I just hope that all of the employees from Blue Star/ Geon that have lost their jobs will receive their FULL entitlements.

    Derek

  42. March 07, 2013 at 11:56 am,

    Ex Geon
    said:

    I left GEON just before it went into receivership not knowing what was coming, now I have many friends who have been screwed by poor management, overspending on completely useless schemes, secret meetings and senior mangers who delegated everything out to already overworked staff while they swanned around the golf course or took clients out to lunch.

    We were asked over and over again, years on end to take pay cuts, leave without pay, waiver our CPI, fore go any salary increases and most of us did it because we believed it would help the company but after hearing the same sad story from management over and over again with no improvement some of us told you to stick it! I’m bloody angry you have ruined so many people’s lives.

    How is it that the CEO can be employed by Blue Star to oversee the integration of GEON staff? He has jumped ship and left everyone to suffer. This is all rather nice for him and his management team to get cushy jobs while everyone else has to clean up their mess. You have screwed a potentially great business with your red tape.

  43. March 07, 2013 at 12:42 pm,

    Going going GEON
    said:

    As I write this and the word Geon appears as a word underlined in red, you really have to wonder who the bright spark was that came up with a company name that computers think is a typo.
    I don’t think many of us at Geon would have ever chosen to stay there in recent months if another good alternative had arisen. Few and far between were the times that tradesmen and other experienced workers were asked for advice, or given due credit and respect. We were viewed only as process workers in a “sausage factory”, many of us spoken to as inferiors by people-skill-deficient managers.
    When the focus moves from quality and quantity of what we produce, to stopping all presses for half an hour, whenever the order came, in order to sweep the floor, surely we have become a little sidetracked. Work that out as an hourly cost- four presses stopped for half an hour…wouldn’t that cover a cleaner’s wages?
    What’s more is that the driving force behind the cleaning frenzy was flown up and down the east coast once a week to set up his laptop in a different office, and bring morale to an all time low.
    Surely such money should have been used to try to offload the six empty sites Geon was paying rent for.
    True enough it’s nice, even important to work in a clean and tidy environment, but not many industries require the floor to be swept 24 times in a 12 hour shift.
    Maybe we should have diversified into broom manufacturing. We could have been self sustaining regardless of sales.
    The best thing about working at Geon was getting to know a great bunch of really good people many of whom I am pleased to call my friends. To those who go to Blue Star (not you Graham), I hope for your sakes that Mr Selig hasn’t bitten off more than he can chew, and that you can settle in to safe, long term employment.
    To those of us who only get to walk out with a cupboard half full of threadbare red shirts with an obsolete logo on them, I wish you every good thing life has to offer. Hang in there. Life will go on. Some banks will give you a break from mortgage payments until things settle down.
    Thanks for being such a fun team to work with. You have been the greatest blessing of my time at Geon.
    God bless you all.

  44. March 07, 2013 at 1:06 pm,

    Buster
    said:

    My heart goes out to all the employees and their families who at 2 pm today will all know their immediate future while the boss will continue to feed his family. How can any self-respecting person look in the mirror, let alone look at people in the eye? The decisions have been appalling when it is all said in done. GEON actually have had some very good senior managers but any one of them who challenged the CEO on direction and strategy or stood up for what was important were moved on. The management team was turned over 3 times in 5 years, with some who I do think are no longer in the industry anymore, who actually new what they were doing and the businesses they ran actually made a profit. Yes, there were GEON businesses that made good return, but the re-branding, blogs, new websites, need to educate industry forums counterbalanced this. The other question must be asked how Directors could see all this going on? I wish all my fellow colleagues well, I am sure we will all survive. I wonder what some of the good leaders are doing now who were marched out because they were capable of managing the business? I bet they are all saying I told him so.

  45. March 07, 2013 at 1:14 pm,

    EX Agency Print Geon
    said:

    Well Agency Printing…what a great printing company, then comes GEON and 18 months later gone. I feel sorry for the GEON employees and wish them all the best.
    It`s a very sad day for printing in Australia.

  46. March 07, 2013 at 1:36 pm,

    Phil H
    said:

    Congratulations to Geoff Selig and his team. Geoff pulled out of the original Blue Star arrangement as he had no belief in the structure and the equity partners. These “partners” circled print businesses like sharks heralding to all that printers they were not business people and didn’t know how to run businesses. Now who are the dummies! These “partners” drove down the print industry already under threat by technological changes. The print industry went into disarray with the price slashing and human tragedies due to redundancies. The combined effort of all the managers of all the combined previous print businesses, prior to the “partners”, could not have lost as much money (tens of millions of dollars) as the GEON and previous BLUE STAR Groups and others have. I am speaking from first-hand experience at the management end.
    I could go on, however, we all know what has happened particularly in the last 4 years. The industry landscape has changed forever. Good luck to those who have benefited from the “partners” mess and I wish all the best to the people who have had there lives changed forever mainly through greed and arrogance.
    I wish Geoff Selig all the best too, as I believe he deserves another chance and he is a good man and will save as many people as he can. He is mopping up the mess created by the “partners” that he disagreed with in the first place. Its back to the future. The industry can try to recover what it can.

  47. March 07, 2013 at 2:01 pm,

    xrite
    said:

    I love my trade, from the first day of my apprenticeship nearly 30 years ago i have never regretted joining this industry despite the best efforts of poor management, investment banks to ruin it.

    The problem as i see it (in Australasia) is the printing companies are owned by investment giants whose sole goal is to extract as much profit from these once proud institutions as they possibly can, there is no interest, passion or re-investment in print, governance is accomplished by applying an economic template by a manager whose life expectancy at the head of the company may be no more than 5 years, the extend of his golden handshake will be determined by the short term fiscal performance and in order to achieve this often the most common method employed is to let go of as many skilled staff as possible.

    The answer to the problem lies in the printing industry itself, if firms banded together and established a pricing structure (like the petroleum and paper industries) this would then remove this current trend of price gouging and leave some margin for maintaining a skilled workforce and equipment upgrades and secondly i would encourage as many management buy-outs as possible to return ownership and governance of print companies back to printers and not corporate accountants.

  48. March 07, 2013 at 2:57 pm,

    Dave
    said:

    Well, that’s it now, redundancies at Geon Mt. Waverley announced at 2pm. Workers cop it again for upper management self-interest. Thanks Geon, now moving to Blue Star. Hopefully they learn and not make same mistake.

  49. March 07, 2013 at 3:17 pm,

    Kim
    said:

    Having worked at both GEON and Blue Star, both companies have plenty of wonderful people. I know the road ahead will be long and winding presenting difficult times for all of us and we must pull together. I’m personally excited about the opportunities ahead and I’m definitely looking forward to achieving more than ever before with our new commercial venture. It is wonderful how this has all worked out and many GEON people including Graham Morgan will enjoy working with the blue team.

    I do feel sorry for those GEON employees which were not part of the intake, remember you will find work in due course and all is not lost.

    This is a wonderful time to be in print and today is historical. All the best to all.

  50. March 07, 2013 at 5:31 pm,

    Geon employee
    said:

    Remember Mr. Morgan: Only rats leave a sinking ship!

  51. March 07, 2013 at 5:37 pm,

    Wayne Hatfield
    said:

    Kim is in urgent need of psychiatric help

  52. March 07, 2013 at 6:27 pm,

    concerned
    said:

    Well i did not get offered a job at bluestar.
    The way it was handled was a total crock of crap..
    The staff at geon Mt Waverly where mostly a great group of guys to work with.
    The thing that has me really pissed off is now we have to wait 4 months for any sort of money.
    Bluestar spent all that money buying geon but we dont get paid any redundancy not even our 4 weeks notice until goes to geers. This is total bull.. I have 200 dollars in the bank how can i survive on that for the next 4 months… Thanks GEON for looking after the workers who made you rich, and don’t tell me they don’t have any money. Graham Morgan will get all his pay and bonus and keep his job even he screwed us into the ground.

  53. March 07, 2013 at 6:32 pm,

    shane H
    said:

    @ kim……wonderful how it all worked out was it ?? that fact that this process was full of delays and lack of information…if YOU think it all worked out so well then maybe you should go and say that to the face of each and every person from GEON (and i was one of them) that was made redundant. And excited to be working with graham morgan ??? Isn’t he the guy that led GEON into all of this mess, he didnt lose his job did he ???? hmmm very funny how that worked out wasnt it…oh and the fact we all have to wait many months for our entitlements ( thats if we get them) ….yeah worked out great Kim !

  54. March 07, 2013 at 6:40 pm,

    Andrew of Wavell Heights
    said:

    Going Going GEON. Well penned.

  55. March 07, 2013 at 7:22 pm,

    Betrayed
    said:

    Still no official communication to geon nz staff re the purchase of geon Australia and the hiring of graham Morgan by bluestar. To say we (nz staff) are feeling betrayed is an understatement , I’m trying very hard to not make this personnel but graham you truly deserve all the vitriol that has been circulating around the press and geon nz emails today. It was only Monday (yes 3 days ago) that you reassured us that you had just had the busiest week of your life trying to secure all of our futures and for us not to give up!
    Graham we didn’t give up, ironically you were the one to give up on us and to make matters worse you creeped out the back door with not even a parting “blog” to explain yourself.
    It’s very hard to not feel like the forgotton over here in little old nz but I know this the geon nz staff have character are still supporting each other and can stand with heads held high.

  56. March 07, 2013 at 8:08 pm,

    new career
    said:

    @Kim
    You sound like one of those pathetic management people that helped destroy Geon and all the livelyhoods of hundreds of good people.
    Look closely at the bottom line from these new managers Blue Star.

  57. March 07, 2013 at 8:58 pm,

    Ex employee
    said:

    As a ex employee at Geon in Victoria, within the first week of starting my job late last year, my first instruction was not to operate a machine as I’m qualified to do, I was told to grab a rag and clean the paper dust off the machines. This went on for 5 hours that nite and continued every nite of my first week. After that I made it my number one objective to find another job, I knew from my first day that this business was not going to stick around for long. As for the senior management who flew up and down the east coast creating fear in every employee who worked at Geon …… I hope you never work in the industry again. As for the wastage of money that went on daily basis such as kilometres of floor tape, brooms, mops and floor polishing machines. And to the guy who also worked at Geon taking photos of anything that you did wrong, I hope you too never work in the industry again. One thing I did like at Geon was to sit in an air condition boardroom and listen to senior managers conduct their quarterly meetings on how much money they lost in the last quarter.

    If you must know I left geon two months after I started and I feel for all the employees who stuck around.

    PS….just a note to all people working in the printing industry…. If your manager tells you that house keeping comes before profit…….get out of that place very fast.

  58. March 07, 2013 at 9:58 pm,

    Darkman
    said:

    Graham Morgan Please remember “What goes around around comes around” Just think about your staff living week to week on the minimum wage. Please think of them in next week when they can put no food on the table and will the children know why Mum or Dad didn’t go to work. Enjoy your meals and think of what you have done to GEON family’s in Australia & New Zealand. Sleep well as many others are not. I never HEARD a sorry. Did any one hear that?

  59. March 07, 2013 at 11:56 pm,

    Buster
    said:

    Well I thoroughly enjoyed going home this afternoon to tell my family I did not get a gig at Bluestar. Now I need to fight to get my entitlements and the one person who made this all come true for all of us is welcomed with open arms to Bluestar. How can anyone allow this to take place. He has screwed everyone and I look forward to his next blog about how to screw over his loyal subjects. May be Kim will enjoy the weekly blogs about nothing but self praise and selfishness.

    What will I do tomorrow well I might just relax, chill and meet with all my fellow ex colleagues to drown our sorrows and raise our glasses to our ex leader Mr Morgan the person who only looked after himself.

  60. March 08, 2013 at 12:19 am,

    Sleepiness nights
    said:

    Kim What planet are you on? I am on the one where I am worrying how we will pay our mortgage and other financial commitments when my husband has no job. What has happened with Geon may not be illegal but it is certainly immoral. Many suppliers have been royally screwed and loyal and hardworking employees have lost their jobs and many more are teetering on the edge of the abyss.
    I am praying hard that by some miracle paper merchants change their minds about supplying in the hope some jobs may be saved. I appreciate what they are trying to do and it is time people stood up to the likes of these corporate giants like KKR. However, it will be at the expense of the innocent workers as none of this has impacted on the GEON CEO who has put his own interests first once again.
    Kim can you please let me know the name of the happy pills your’e clearly taking and where I can get some? That is of course if I can afford them now.

  61. March 08, 2013 at 1:35 am,

    Asprint
    said:

    Daz, your post re brokers is bang on the money! – time for a clean up in the industry and time to get back to making a decent return for our time, skills, knowledge and investment into what was once a great industry. Too many idiots being misled by even bigger idiots – lets have some respect for ourselves and say enough is enough! Look at the trends over the last few years, look at the UK/europe/usa and the monumental disasters that have taken place there, learn from the mistakes and lets start having positive discussions about how great this industry is and where we can take it. “Print brokers” and so called “graphic designers” who have no concept of the basic principles of print, driving the value down every day….I could go on but you know the rest, sorry for the rant..

  62. March 08, 2013 at 8:02 am,

    Truth hurts
    said:

    I was at the final meeting yesterday, Graham Morgan is a complete grub, and he has his “thirty pieces of silver” from Blue Star.
    He is totally to blame for what happened to a great bunch of people in Brisbane, Melbourne and Banksmeadow, I hope he reads this, and takes it all in , the enormity of his mismanagemant over the years is now so obvious to everyone, I hope down the track he gets shafted by Blue Star, his name is now poison in the Australasian print industry for evermore.
    HANG YOUR HEAD IN SHAME ,Graham Morgan.

  63. March 08, 2013 at 8:35 am,

    Love this industry
    said:

    https://print21.com.au/jda-print-recruitment-extends-a-geonerous-helping-hand/57493#comment-11398

    At least someone cares for the workers.

  64. March 08, 2013 at 8:47 am,

    Get Real
    said:

    Kim – I’d like to laugh at your post because it is very cleverly written and a good parody on corporate s*&#speaking; but I can’t. Read some of the posts here from family bread-winners who have lost their jobs, accrued entitlements and self-esteem through no fault of their own. Now is not the time for satire; maybe later, but not now.

  65. March 08, 2013 at 10:54 am,

    Sleepless nights
    said:

    I am so sorry for all the Geon employees on the east coast. N.Z and Western Australia appear to be the only sites that have been profitable – is it a coincidence that they were furthest from the reach of the CEO? What a shame that these too are likely to fold when they still have the capacity to keep going and keep people employed. There has been a lot of talk regarding bankers. The bankers will take people’s homes if they can’t make mortgage repayments ( this is a likely scenario for some suppliers and Geon staff) so either way the bankers never lose. Paper merchants – you have proved your point to KKR and I do support what you have been trying to do. I would like you to think long and hard about how much more will be achieved at this stage. People’s futures are hanging in the balance. Fingers crossed for everyone seeking employment. Your in my thoughts and prayers.

  66. March 08, 2013 at 11:21 am,

    GEON CEO BLOG
    said:

    Hi,

    This is the last CEO Blog I am going to write to you. Not because I am not going to keep involved with the remaining GEON businesses until they are sold but as our businesses in Christchurch, Cairns, Townsville, Brisbane, Banksmeadow, Parramatta and Mount Waverley are no longer a part of GEON, I will communicate directly with the remaining businesses as appropriate.

    If I thought last week was my most challenging in my career, this week is that tenfold. On a personal level, I have been very upset to see the pain and anguish across the business. As a leader of a business, you have many responsibilities to lots of stakeholders but for me always the most important group is our people and so to see your pain has been horrific.

    As I foreshadowed last week, there is no longer a GEON as we’ve known it. The future of the remaining businesses should be known within the next couple of weeks. This is a time where we all have to look after our own and our family’s interests as a first priority. I know that all the remaining businesses have a number of parties interested in buying them and so you must do all you can to hold onto our clients and people to ensure a sale of the business.

    For those of you finishing up in Queensland and doing temporary work in Banksmeadow, Parramatta and Mount Waverley – best of luck with the next stage of your careers, I can only commend your professionalism and dignity. For those who decide to accept the roles that are offered by Blue Star – be proud when you walk through their doors, keep GEON’s high standards and values and remember that our clients stayed with us for a reason – you.

    Regardless of what situation you are in, be proud of what we did. I am and will continue to be. The last 6 and a half years have taught me a lot and introduced me to so many great people. It’s been a pleasure and an honour.

    Take care, always be safe and always put your families first.

    Graham

  67. March 08, 2013 at 11:41 am,

    Rotten at the start
    said:

    Being an ex employee of GEON, and working closely with the senior mgmt, I desperately wanted to find another job. It took me 3 years of interviewing before I finally got a yes. Plenty of sleepless nights worrying about my future, and there was nothing out there during the GFC.

    Yet, the most important step in the journey is the next step. Get the resume together, send it to two trusted people, and get onto Seek. Don’t muck around. Jobs will be coming up in the new financial year.

  68. March 08, 2013 at 1:20 pm,

    said:

    This GEON comment string is now transferred to the following article:

    https://print21.com.au/out-of-work-and-out-of-options-geons-sacked-workers-wait-for-entitlements/57627

    The Editor

  69. March 09, 2013 at 2:40 am,

    Tedi
    said:

    I don’t really want to see any more pathetic blogs by Graham Morgan who is not CEO of anything, because he has learned a lot from a business he has headed for 6 years taking it from a $350 million asset to a worthless wreck. He steered it on the backs of guys who have been misled. People on site in Brisbane have not had a pay increase in 8 years while the CPI has risen over 24%. Brisbane offsiders have worked like dogs at times, massively understaffed while the company was not adhering to pay as per the 2010 graphic award. Why Blue Star would employ Graham Morgan longer than 1 year is beyond belief, they must have rocks in their head. One thing i learned though is that when we were relieved of all the over-paid and over-rated management in Bris Vegas (and were left to do our jobs) we achieved zero waste for three months. This saga reminds me of the head of the Lloyds banking group in the UK who recently “lead” the bank to a $1-4 BILLION loss and duly received a $1-4 Million bonus! These people are outrageous failures with pathetic egos.

  70. March 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm,

    Buster
    said:

    So here I am after almost a week with no job, but Graham Morgan is still getting paid, and did not have the courtesy to come and see all the employees he pleaded for to be loyal to him. I wonder what you tell your children when you get home?

  71. March 15, 2013 at 6:51 pm,

    Tedi
    said:

    IMPORTANT! I don’t know if anyone is bothering to read this anymore but i just checked my super and then phoned them and then checked it again on line. I’m with Australian super and yes GEON did make a payment in February and yes at that moment they were legally up to date (albeit paying 6 days beyond the one month maximum time period) but it was for the last tax quarter which ended on 28th December 2012. thus i haven’t had any super contributions this year. You had better check yours and get on to the tax office on 131020. Needless to say i bet Graham Morgan and the accounts department had their super bang up to date even though in Morgans case he won’t need it.

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