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CVC puts PBL back on track to open print site

Wednesday, 17 December 2008
By Print 21 Online Article

$445 million cash injection from CVC funds allows PBL Media to proceed with plans for setting up its own printing site.

This week, PBL Media breathed a sigh of relief after CVC Capital Partners and CVC Asia Pacific invested $335 million of new equity into the company, while at the same time cancelling $110 million of excess undrawn facilities.

According to Ian Law, PBL chief executive officer, this gives PBL the opportunity to move ahead with initiatives that have been in the pipeline for some time, including its own web offset printing press.

“We can now get on and focus on running the business for the longer term,” he said.

“We have a number of exciting opportunities before us including the new press and distribution facility for ACP Magazines.”

PBL made the announcement that it would print ACP Magazines itself in October this year. Cost-cutting was given as the contributing factor to this move.

"We have undertaken an exhaustive analysis of the printing options available to us and it became clear during the process there were compelling reasons to take control of the production of our publications," Law said.

At the time of the announcement, Law said it would be only a matter of weeks before PBL announced the location for the printing site, rumoured to be located in western Sydney. Months later, and there has still been no update, raising suspicion from some industry commentators.

The plan to print its stock independently has always had its critics, especially Brian Evans, ceo of PMP, which has printing contracts for the bulk of ACP Magazines. Evans raised the point that PBL Media specialises in publishing, not printing, and that its staff may not have the knowledge and expertise to successfully over-see the venture.

"This is a tall order for them," Evans said. "There is no guarantee that this will go ahead."

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