Archive for June, 2014

  • Doggett does digital

    Digital printing is still defying the trend towards commodity that has overtaken much of the offset world, which means the paper it processes attracts special attention.

    Finding ways to differentiate your product in the market gets more difficult when customers have many choices. Paper is battling to impress with more than logistics, as in fast delivery, and price, which is a blind alley for all concerned. Digital paper has a natural selection process by being certified by digital press manufacturers.

    Family firm, K.W. Doggett Fine Paper has long enjoyed a reputation as a creative company and now it has launched a unified brand for all of its paper specified for digital printing. Spanning HP Indigo and dry toner suitable products including paper, boards, labels, rolls, vinyls and synthetics, the aim to consolidate the digital range into one segment.

    According to a company press release the move came in response to its growing portfolio of digitally approved products, the growth in its offset customers adding digital printing options and the large volume of digital printers already serviced

    The new branding has been rolled-out in the form of a new price book and swatch kit box for printers, stickers, wrapping paper, two new printing guides – one for Dry Toner and one for HP Indigo products and eye candy samples (different papers showcasing various print techniques) for the designers.

    Consolidating all products under the Doggett Digital brand has been a key exercise for Jon Roberts, BDM– Digital.

    “Our aim was to deliver comprehensive yet easy-to-use tools for our dedicated digital range of print medias. With Doggett Digital, our aim is to keep our customers up-to-date with relevant information and at the forefront of new and innovative digital print substrates for both HP Indigo and Dry Toner technologies,” said Roberts.

    According to Nathan Doggett, national sales manager the venture has attracted a lot of interest. “We are committed to the digital print market and our product range reflects this. We’re providing our customers with more options, something different and innovative. Keep a look out for the Doggett Digital trucks too.”

    Some new products available in the Dry Toner and Indigo categories are Pop’Set from Arjowiggins Creative Papers (UK) in Lime Tonic, Black and Cosmo Pink in 320gsm and the new Mohawk Loop Digital i-Tone Antique Vellum in Straw and Urban Gray. These new products add colour to what is normally a predominantly white range of papers.

    Coming soon are four additions to the digital vinyl range Tacky for Dry Toner (Tacky for Indigo was released earlier this year).

    The new branding was designed by Seesaw in Victoria. The bright, colourful and fun graphic creates an impression on the shop and factory floor. To make sample selection and comparison easier, a dedicated section exists for the Doggett Digital range on the new K.W.Doggett Fine Paper website.


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    Eye candy

  • Jet Technologies picks up Omet agency in Indonesia

     Furthering Jack Malki’s drive to establish his label equipment business in the northern archipelago he has partnered with Italian press manufacturer to service the huge potential market.

    An announcement of the alliance at last month’s Label Summit Indonesia crowned a successful foray to Jakarta for Malki and his team. Jet Technologies had the largest presence at the event

    The company’s presence emphasized the spread of its label agencies with Kocher + Beck, Pulse Roll Label, SMAG, OMET, SPG Prints and Ruco all supporting the display. According to Jack Malki, many local clients took advantage of the opportunity to meet and speak with global experts in their respective fields in a relaxed format.

    “Clients had been telling us that they want serious partners who are able to support their business. We responded by showing our commitment to the Indonesian market with a very strong team at the event” said Malki, director of Jet Technologies.

    “The local market is developing rapidly and clients have told us that their biggest hurdle remains the technical expertise of their teams and ensuring that they are able to implement world-class solutions in their market” continued Malki.

    As always with Summits and Conference the highlight of the event was the networking function, sponsored by Jet Technologies, with close to 200 people attending what proved to be a very pleasant evening.

    Currie Group holds the Omet agency in Australia and NZ.

    Jet Technologies announced the major prizewinners from its competition, with the following people winning the trips to Europe:

    1. Winner of the trip to Germany: Agus Salim, PT. Cahaya Jakarta

    2. Winner of the trip to Italy: Jacob Agung, CV Pancar Prima Agung

    3. Winner of the trip to France: Hedy Yani, PT Menara Cipta


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    Martin McEwan (Jet Technologies), David Reece (Jet Technologies), Gary Seward (Pulse Roll Label), Jack Malki (Jet Technologies) and Darren Hallett (Pulse Roll Label)

  • Digital boon for Worldwide South Brisbane

    The past six years has seen Worldwide South Brisbane undergo a complete digital overhaul and emerge stronger and more profitable than ever. Rebuilt from the ground up on a Konica Minolta platform in 2008, the business has defied the challenges and trends of a transforming industry, entering a brand new growth phase.

    Worldwide South Brisbane has set its reputation on delivering a high level of personalised service. Rising demand in a competitive market drove the business to look for a reliable and cost effective digital printing solution. According to George Bacic (pictured), Worldwide South Brisbane’s managing director, the consistency and reliability offered by Konica Minolta were paramount in his decision to replace its entire printing fleet.

    “Not only did we need a suite of first class equipment, we wanted a partner we could trust and a service we could depend on. Quality was also of equal importance. In order to stand out in today’s crowded market, the print quality and colour accuracy had to be more than okay – it had to be exceptional,” said Bacic.

    The move gave Bacic’s team the scope it needed to move forward in the digital arena, going on to install more than ten Konica Minolta production printers over the course of the last six years. The business now runs a number of top-of-the-line colour presses including a bizhub C8000 and C65000, a bizhub 1200 and two PRO 920s, as well as a range of C353s for its smaller commercial print work.

    “We’re really impressed with the service and reliability of these machines. Aside from normal maintenance, the devices have hardly ever broken down and when you’re in such a busy growth period, minimal operational down-time is critical to customer retention,” he adds.

    Since then the local Konica team has working closely with the Worldwide South Brisbane team to better integrate its automation features throughout the business to increase value. On top of its ongoing service, this support was felt most keenly during the Brisbane flood disaster in 2011, where Konica Minolta’s quick action proved critical to salvaging the business.

    Bacic recalls, “Water was already lapping at the front door when Konica Minolta sent in their trucks and engineers to break down and transport the machinery. They housed some of our printer in a dry warehouse while we operated from our Springwood store until the primary location was back up and running. Without Konica Minolta’s help I don’t know how we would have survived that devastating and turbulent time.”

  • Winds of change – Mark Bladon joins Fujifilm

    Labels and narrow web get bumped up the totem pole as industry stalwart Mark Bladon signs onto the Fujifilm team. With over 25 years printing industry experience on both sides of the supplier line, Bladon brings a formidable pedigree in the graphic arts to his new role as business development manager for this thriving sector.

    Bladon (pictured) comes on board to help grow Fujifilm’s user base for its UVivid ink portfolio, as well as coatings for narrow web, flexo and UV packaging converters across the country. He will also have a hand in introducing new-to-market digital solutions aimed at short run job profiles. According to Bladon, the move will give him the chance to develop strong relationships in these important and growing markets.

    “Joining a company with Fujifilm’s resources and global footprint is a rare opportunity and I look forward with great enthusiasm to helping our label and narrow web customers negotiate industry changes between conventional and digital technologies. With leading products in both camps, Fujifilm is a strong partner for the profitable growth of label and narrow web printing businesses,” he says.

    A UK native, Bladon graduated from Southhampton Institute of Art and Design and served a full apprenticeship as a printer before relocating to Australia ten years ago. He worked his way up to pressroom manager, ultimately moving into a sales and marketing role and finally crossing the supplier lines when he joined KBA Australia in 2004. Bladon developed an exhaustive understanding of the offset market with KBA and, later, Heidelberg. He then moved on to gain valuable digital experience through a couple of stints with Konica Minolta and the Currie Group working on HP Indigo.

    Fujifilm’s national sales manager for graphic systems, Paul Budgen, praises the appointment and welcomes Bladon, saying, “Having someone with Mark’s depth of experience join the team is a tremendous boost to our goal of deeper penetration in the core graphic arts. The label sector is experiencing significant growth, which Fujifilm Australia intends to capitalise upon. Our Fujifilm Sericol narrow web inks and colour management already provide a firm platform to build on and the next step is to expand our hardware offerings. We are delighted to welcome Mark on board to help drive these initiatives.”

  • Issue 636 – June 25 2014

    Jet Technologies is set to snip the ribbon on its brand new Sydney demo centre. Agfa strikes back in digital print with the MGI Meteor. And state awards get KO’d by NPA Anstice revamp. Follow us on the Print21 website or on Twitter and Facebook to keep on top of all the latest industry and technology developments.


    Nicholas Pond
    Online Editor

  • State awards KO’d as NPAs get Anstice revamp

    The 2014 National Print Awards truly marked the end of an era, as next year’s award season is now set to take on a very different flavour. The state-based Printing Industries Craftsmanship Awards (PICAs) have been canned in light of dwindling numbers and decline in sponsorships, with the NPAs reverting to a direct entry model for the 2015 Awards.

    The decision came off the back of a comprehensive review of the awards system undertaken late last year by Stephen Anstice, former CEO of IPMG. Facing industry-wide rationalisation, Printing Industries has laid down the law in a bid preserve the Awards’ ongoing relevance and viability. With events already scheduled the WA, Tasmania and Queensland PICAs will still go ahead, but Printing Industries CEO Bill Healey confirms that to maintain a fair playing field companies in these state will also be eligible for direct entry to the NPAs.

    Healey goes on to explain that the national award categories will also be overhauled to better represent the changes in technology and industry culture. An initial list of the new categories will be drawn up and be available for entrants by August 2014.

    “A new subcommittee of Printing Industries, chaired by deputy president Susan Heaney and including external industry representatives will be formed to oversee the awards and to work with the chairman of judges to select judges, review categories annually and manage the judging process,” said Healey.

    The review submitted by Anstice did recommend that the distinction between digital and offset process categories continue, with additional digital categories added to mark its increased prevalence. The jury is still out on the future of the business awards, or whether they might be spun off into a separate event. Emphasis throughout will remain on print quality.


  • ‘It’s the missing link’ – CMYKhub’s final touch to W2P

    Free online design templates are set to power up the next stage of web-to-print development for print buyers and designers.

    CMYKhub has launched its ‘online design templates’ in a Design4print solution for customers with minimal set up costs and NO monthly fees. Online design templates are becoming the next big thing as they allow print buyers to design promotional material and stationery online. The print buyer starts with professionally designed templates that they can customise prior to ordering their printing.

    According to Clive Denholm, CMYKhub, it’s the missing link in Web2Print success. “Having online templates and the ability to design online is fundamental to achieve sales of print on the web. What we have on offer with our template design solution is in my opinion, the best system available.”

    CMYKhub is offering the system, called D4P, with minimum of setup charges and with absolutely no monthly transaction or hosting costs, customers simply pay a small fee for artwork that is charged once they make a sale.

    The D4P solution has an online logo designer, a million quality designed templates and a massive photo library built in.

    CMYKhub invites customers that want a print website with design templates to contact them for a one-on –one demonstration. The system is ready to go and CMYKhubis offering it on a first come, first served basis.

    CMYKhub is Australia’s largest trade only printer with manufacturing hubs in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Darwin.

    For further information contact


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  • Agfa gets back into digital printing with MGI

    After a pioneering history in the digital revolution, including the first Australian agency of Xeikon in the early 1990s, the iconic Belgium-based business has returned to commercial digital print with its local launch of the French-built Meteor DP 8700 XL.

    Promoting a ‘click-free’ business model, Agfa intends to succeed where other suppliers failed, including Ferrostaal and GBC, in convincing the local industry of the benefits of the Meteor. It will also promote a wide range of equipment from manufacturer MGI, including the iFoil digital embellisher in competition with the Scodix from Currie Group.

    The Meteor DP 8700 XL press made its debut at Agfa Graphics open house functions in Melbourne this week, giving guests a chance to sit in on a demonstration and catch up with specialists from MGI and AGFA Graphics. It joins the company’s UV-based wide format printers, notably the Anapurna, as part of its digital imaging stable.

    Against a backdrop that urged visitors to ‘Stay Ahead’, the Meteor ran through a number of print jobs on a variety of substrates from offset paper to envelopes, synthetics stocks and rigid plastics up to 1020mm in length. The demonstrations placed the press as a viable and cost-effective alternative for those looking at flexibility in the high-end digital sector, but for Mark Brindley, managing director Agfa Oceania, it is the ability to dramatically increase margins and lift profitability which is most important.

    “With the average profit on print running at around five per cent, it’s no wonder the Meteor’s ability to produce general commercial work with a profit margin of 20, 30, 50 or even 70 per cent is creating interest around the world,” said Brindley. “Add to that the flexibility to diversify into new revenue streams, including high margin products like oversize print, packaging, labels and plastic cards, to name a few, and the Meteor really can be a key to healthier margins and improved business profitability.”

    Ray Pena from MGI detailed the attractive purchase price, the ability to print to standard offset papers, the flexibility to expand into more lucrative markets, as key differentiators, but the ability to free businesses from the traditional digital ‘click charge’ model is perhaps the most critical, he said.

    Presenting the MGI Meteor DP 8700 XL are (from left): AGFA Graphics’ Mark Brindley, managing director, Oceania; Peter Williams, sales & technical specialist and Harry Kontogiannis, manager – wide-format inkjet and commercial printing, with Raymond Pena Jnr, MGI International director of ßales & communications.

    “While click charge contracts may allow manufacturers to set a lower initial purchase price, which looks attractive, they lock press owners in to significantly higher ongoing costs, particularly when machine upgrades and trailing residual contract commitments are factored in,” Pena warned. “Under a click charge contract, every image is costing you money…and you’re committed to paying for agreed production levels, even if your volumes slip or vary from month to month.”

    Brindley acknowledged that these are challenging times for the industry, “but the Meteor press range, and the wider range of innovative products from MGI, offer some exciting solutions and options for businesses,” he said.

    “We’re delighted to be partnering with MGI and look forward to working with key decision makers over the next weeks and months to help them ‘imagine the possibilities’ for their businesses.”


  • Shutters come down on Focus deal

    Following a meeting with the fourth set of administrators on Friday Mark Shergill decided to move production onto his Print Warehouse presses to allow for the forthcoming auction of the building and machinery.

    Shergill, who was operating under an agreement with previous owner David Fuller, was also able to move some of the production team over to Print Warehouse. Shergill claims that he has been able to hold onto around 20 jobs despite what industry sources are calling a high-handed move on the part of administrators. Ironically this development comes as Shergill adds yet another business to his growing east coast print empire, finalising the purchase of Queensland’s PurePrint.

    The Acacia Ridge-based company will continue to operate as part of the new Focus Print Group with its current general manager Robert Mellor and 12 staff. Shergill is quickly developing a reputation for buying companies in distress and turning them into profitable and successful ventures. His chance to salvage Focus has come under serious fire, however, as administrators now intend to auction off the remaining equipment in the coming weeks.

    Shergill (pictured) stresses that Focus Print Group is still up and running, with production shifted to the Print Warehouse site. He explains to Print21 that he moved in quickly and struck a private deal with David Fuller to prevent exactly this kind of situation.

    “I’ve seen what happens when the administrators get in and try to run a printing business. When I bought BPA the administrators had been already been in for about six weeks. I thought, if I get this done fairly quickly and it’s only closed for a week and half, I can save more of it. The more we can keep the business going, the more we can try to save basically. Customers, staff, jobs, the whole thing,” he says.

    Nonetheless Shergill remains committed to customers and “the longevity of the print industry.” Speaking with Print21, Shergill reveals that the decision to pick up the PurePrint business in fact predates his involvement with the Focus Press deal. He explains that both purchases add their own unique value to what is now his national printing brand.

    “We wanted to create a strong presence in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, one in Melbourne and one in Sydney. We’ve completed that now. We’ve already got Dynamic Print up in Queensland, the plan is to eventually merge the [PurePrint] business with the Gold Coast site to get more production happening there,” he tells Print21.

    The PurePrint buy also secures the site’s two Komori presses, a 440 and a 526, which Shergill will continue to operate before going on to consolidate production with the old Dynamic Print business. The deal follows the previous owner, 72-year-old Hans, heading into retirement.

    This brings the running total up to seven printing companies picked up in last few years or owned by Shergill, including the Focus deal which remains up in the air. The new Focus Print Group includes his Sydney-based Print Warehouse and what remains of Focus, in Melbourne NewTone, BPA and Troedel Print, and in Queensland Dynamic Print and now PurePrint.

  • New Lithrone GX40 completes packaging line-up

    The launch of Komori’s full-size offset packaging press in Japan last week by Mr. Yoshiharu Komori, the venerable chairman, president and CEO of the company delivers the missing link to the packaging specialists at Ferrostaal Australia.

    The agents for Bobst die-cutters and econopack cartoners are now able to offer end-to-end production equipment to the packaging industry. Packaging veteran, Carsten Wendler, managing director, Ferrostaal Australia who travelled to the Komori factory with Rayne Simpson, general manager, hailed the new press as a “game changer, not only for Ferrostaal but for the packaging industry in general.

    “It allows us to talk with customers on a different level, now we have industry-leading brands across the whole production chain. Until now we didn’t have the standard big offset packaging size press, but this new Lithrone GX40 is one of the most advanced presses in the world,” he said.

    The new press will be available in Australia by the end of the year and will come with Komori patented HD-UV drying. Equipped with all the latest Komori automation and quality control technology, the Lithrone GX40 sets new standard for sheet inspection with every board numbered and scanned. The 18,000 per hour press is at the top of the industry throughput speed but Simpson is keen to emphasize the productivity increase that comes with short make-readies and the less than 30-sheet waste before it is up and running again.

    Historic launch for Komori in Japan (left-to-right) Rayne Simpson, general manager Ferrostaal Australia, Lee Armstrong, pressroom manager, Platypus Graphics, Carsten Wendler, managing director, Ferrostaal Australia, Patrick Howard, publisher, Print21 and Toshiyuki Tsugawa, group general manager, overseas sales, Komori Corporation.

    “It’s not about the speed, although that is very fast. It’s about the throughput, the quality and the reduction in waste, automating the feeding and delivery of stacks,” he said.

    Noting that other manufacturers can match the size, speed and configuration Simpson is still convinced the additional technology on the Lithrone GX40 lift it to a new level.

    “The packaging industry is becoming even more quality conscious and this is a fantastic opportunity for Ferrostaal to be able to offer such a high quality piece of equipment.

    “Packaging is the highest growing market in the printing industry. The launch of this new press means Komori are gearing up to support that growth. And so are we.”

    Wendler is keen to promote the company’s experience and packaging knowledge base as well as its ability to advise customers all the way into the printers’ clients, the big FMCG multi-nationals that use Ferrostaal equipment too.

    “No one else is able to provide this end-to-end advice. Our core competence is in the packaging industry and this new press just completes the line-up,” he said.

  • STI Lilyfield in the bag for Blue Star

    The t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted on the Blue Star buy-out of Sydney’s iconic Lilyfield business from German STI Group. The official handover is now set for June 30, as Blue Star gets serious about boosting its wide format and point-of-purchase (POP) offering with further investment in new equipment and process tipped for the coming months.

    The deal that was first announced back in April has been finalised, which will see the Lilyfield business and all POP-related employees continue to work out of its current Padstow site for the foreseeable future. Blue Star confirms speculation that it will indeed consolidate the company’s commercial print work to the Blue Star Silverwater site, but has yet to reveal the full impact on staff in overlap areas.

    Matt Aitken (pictured), Blue Star group general manager print and DM, tells Print21 that he is excited about the move. STI Lilyfield currently provide end-to-end commercial printing and point-of-sale (POS) solutions, and Aitken is focussed on identifying synergies and adding new services for customers across the board.

    “Blue Star is already a very diverse business which gives us a strong value proposition for STI customers. Conversely, bringing on STI Lilyfield offers strong and unique capabilities to the Blue Star customer base,” he says.

    “The reaction from both customer groups over the past couple of months has been very positive and shows how highly regarded the STI business is in Australia.”

    The deal has Blue Star and STI Group enter into a global POP partnership to ensure the business continues to deliver leading innovative solutions to customers. According to Dr Tom Giessler, STI Group managing director, the two companies are well-matched in the partnership.

    “We specialise in driving our customers’ success by developing highly creative POP and competitive supply chain solutions. This partnership helps to further our aim of delivering a truly seamless service, no matter where in the world our customers and their needs are based,” said Giessler.

    Current STI Lilyfield managing director, Stephen De Lorenzo, also carries on with the business at its Padstow site. De Lorenzo replaced former managing director Graham Trickey in June 2013, and has been a steady hand in guiding the business through this expanding sector.

    Founded in 1979 by Reg Hammond, the iconic Lilyfield business was bought in August 2009 by STI Group, which operates nine manufacturing site worldwide and reported a $450 million group turnover in 2013.

    Blue Star continues to invest in growth areas, just last week announcing its entering a heads of agreement to purchase mailhouse business iGroup. Meanwhile, negotiations for a 50/50 merger with IPMG publicly fell through just a few days ago, but despite the set-back Blue Star remains on the warpath for expansion.

  • Issue 635 – 16 June 2014

    The shutters come down on Focus deal, as administrators order the South Strathfield site locked up and put equipment up for auction. Ironically this comes as Mark Shergill adds yet another business to his growing east coast printing empire – Queensland’s PurePrint. Follow us on the Print21 website or on Twitter and Facebook to keep on top of all the latest industry and technology developments.


    Nicholas Pond
    Online Editor

  • Screen bags label prize at FESPA

    The Truepress Jet L350UV nabbed a gold trophy at the eighth annual European Digital Press (EDP) association awards, held at last month’s FESPA Digital show in Munich. Screen’s leading digital label press took home the prize for “Best Label Printing Solution”, beating out a pool of more than 120 international suppliers and cementing Screen’s commitment to this vibrant and demanding market.

    Across 28 categories the EDP association selected the best of the best, recognising innovative new technology launching into the digital printing market. The Screen Truepress Jet L350UV won acclaim for print widths up to 322 mm, productivity at 16.1 sq/m per minute from a lineal speed of 50 m/minute and photo-realistic image quality. According to Peter Scott, managing director, Screen Australia, the win rewards the company’s ongoing attention to technical quality.

    “The Truepress Jet L350UV shows Screen’s commitment to provide the label and packaging markets with high-quality, ultra-reliable imaging and digital printing solutions. The rigorous selection process for the EDP Awards means that only the best products win, so we’re naturally delighted and honoured,” said Scott.

    Brian Filler (Screen UK, director) receives award from Klaus-Peter Nicolay (Druckmarkt, editor-in-chief)

    The Screen Trepress Jet L350UV debuted at last year’s PacPrint in Melbourne where it snapped up a Print21 Hot Pick award. The award was personally presented to Screen president Katsuhiko Aoki who had flown in especially to mark the occasion.

    The EDP was founded in 2006. It is assembled from a range of leading European technology magazines, with a technical panel of independent consultants, journalists and industry professionals. According to Rudolf Messer, president, EDP, this year’s turn-out, including the Screen Truepress Jet L350UV, has truly set the bar to new heights.

    “The amazing number of altogether 60 nominated products by the technical committee of EDP shows the innovation power in our digital industry”, said Messer.

  • Blue Star and IPMG merger is called off

    A step too far for industry consolidation as the Selig and Hannan families pull back from the brink of creating Australia’s largest printing company. Too many uncertainties and the potential costs of rationalising up to seven sites with all the disruption that entails in redundancies and transferring of equipment weighed against the benefits of the proposed $700 million merger.

    In a brief statement, Geoff Selig, managing director of Blue Star still maintains there are significant benefits to the merger and the need for meaningful industry consolidation. However following a process of due diligence it has been determined, that the cost to rationalise the businesses and the risks associated with the implementation outweigh the expected benefits.

    Selig was hesitant to comment further on the details of the decision to Print21, other than to say it was “disappointing, but sometimes this is just the way these things go.” He remains committed to the industry-wide drive towards consolidation and improved efficiencies. Blue Star has been vigorous in its pursuit of mergers and acquisitions over the past six months. In April it announced it was buying up the former  iconic Lilyfield business from German-based STI Group, a deal which is reportedly days away from completion. Just days ago it announced a deal to pick up Paul Tannous’ iGroup mailing business.

    The IPMG deal was a daring bid to create the largest printing company in the region owned 50/50 by the two printing families. It will leave the two entities as large competitors and rivals, albeit with both of them in possession of detailed costings and knowledge of the work practices of the other.

    IPMG remains as the second largest printing enterprise behind PMP with Blue Star continuing to grow by an energetic series of takeovers.

  • Heidelberg buys out Gallus and secures Swiss shareholder

    Gallus owner Ferdinand Rüesch cashes in its remaining shares in the Swiss label and folding carton suppier for an anchor stake with Heidelberg. In a landmark trade-off, Heidelberg picks up 100% ownership of Gallus while the share swap deal leaves Ferdinand Rüesch as its single largest shareholder, controlling 9% of the German press giant.

    The deal sees the Ferdinand Rüesch hand off its remaining 70% stake in Gallus Holding AG for up to 23 million new shares in Heidelberg valued at a minimum of €2.70 each, as well as a cash payment of no more than €10 million. The buy-out ties up Heidelberg’s total control of the previously family-owned Swiss press manufacturer, having acquired a 30% share in the business in 1999. The restructure is expected to be complete by July, subject to all relevant approvals.

    In exchange, Ferd. Rüesch AG emerges with a whopping 9% stake in the German offset company, which it undertakes to hold until July 31, 2015. The share reshuffle follows earlier announcement of significant ongoing consolidation and backs up Heidelberg’s strengthening its capital structure. According to Gerold Linzbach (pictured), Heidelberg CEO, the press giant is proud to have won the support of the Swiss brand as its new strategic anchor investor, and hopes to leverage it to open up new markets.

    “The full acquisition of Gallus will further enhance the cooperation of the two companies. Together, we will continue to foster the development in the growing market for digital label production,” said Linzbach.

    Heidelberg and Gallus are developing a portfolio of digital products for the labels sectors, commercial and packaging printing, utilising industrialised inkjet technology from Fujifilm. A Heidelberg inkjet label press based on the Gallus ECS340 platform will debut later this year, delivering 1200×1200 dpi, with inline finishing and embellishment. A B1 sheet-fed, still in development, will follow.

    Headquartered in Switzerland Gallus had a group turnover of CHF 188 million, and employs around 500 staff worldwide.

  • Issue 634 – 11 June 2014

    Blue Star adds yet another building block to its expanding empire. A landmark share-swap leaves Heidelberg owning Gallus, and Fred. Rüesch holding a 9% stake of Heidelberg. And Sydney liquor laws are drying up hospitality printing. Follow us on the Print21 website or on Twitter and Facebook to keep on top of all the latest industry and technology developments.


    Nicholas Pond
    Online Editor

  • Blue Star does it again – iGroup the latest to fall

    Paul Tannous, former managing director, will be one of a significant number of iGroup employees to join the Selig brothers’ rapidly growing printing enterprise.

    The acquisition of selected assets and customers of the iconic mailing house, which specializes in multi-channel personalised communications, adds another building block to the rapid expansion of the Blue Star empire ahead of its proposed merger with IPMG at the beginning of July. The expanded business, operating under the Blue Star DM brand, will be one of the largest and most diverse direct marketing mail businesses in Australia.

    The shift to Blue Star’s Homebush facility is expected to complete by the end of the month.

    David Veness, Blue Star DM NSW general manager, will lead the combined business, with Paul Tannous remaining to take on a senior role.

    "Each has unique strengths in traditional DM and digital personalised communications," Paul Tannous

    According to Matt Aitken, Blue Star’s Group general manager Print the two businesses have similar commitment to high levels of customer service, responsiveness, as well as a diverse product offering and innovation. “Blue Star is passionate about the personalised one-to-one communications and marketing space, having invested heavily in this area over the past two to three years. Our strategy will continue to focus on the growth and expansion of the data and content driven communication services offering we take to market”

    Paul Tannous said the move will be good for customers and will deliver a broader solutions offering with greater capacity and diversity.

    The Blue Star  merger with IPMG to form the largest printing enterprise in the region appears to be on track for completion at the end of the month. The relatively smaller Blue Star business, which will hold a 50/50 ownership in the new business, is bulking up with a series of takeover of which iGroup is the most recent. It bought STI, the German packaging company, last month.