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Japanese pulp & paper giant buys controlling interest in BJ Ball and KW Doggett

Wednesday, 12 April 2017
By Print 21 Online Article

BJ Ball Group and Doggett locations

Leading Australasian paper, packaging and print media distributors, BJ Ball and K.W. Doggett Fine Paper announced today the two businesses will combine. This new entity will become the largest, most diversified paper, packaging and print media distribution business across both Australia and New Zealand.

The transaction is subject to conditions, including ACCC approval. Global industry player and leading Japanese pulp and paper company JP will also acquire a 51% stake in the new entity. JP is a global paper distributor with operations across 22 countries and a heritage that began in 1845.

'Future-proofing our position': Craig Brown, CEO, BJ Ball

According to Craig Brown, BJ Ball CEO, “BJ Ball has always strived to be a diversified and progressive supply partner to the graphic communications market. Joining forces with K.W. Doggett Fine Paper and JP has been carefully considered and we have no doubt this next step will future-proof our position while also being supportive of the industry long-term.

“Through pooling our resources and accessing JP’s global network, we will create a more robust and resourced business. We believe this will add value for customers on both sides of the Tasman.

“With the print market changing globally, this new entity is structured to meet the future head-on. Through combining two strong businesses and adding a heavyweight global partner, our business will have enhanced buying power, better access to new product categories, continuity of supply and a business model which is sustainable long term (both for suppliers and staff).”

'Extremely proud of our achievements': Simon Doggett

K.W. Doggett Fine Paper is a family-owned business that strongly values culture and service, according to Simon Doggett, managing director. “We are extremely proud of our achievements as a family owned and operated business. Ken Doggett started the Company in 1975 as a one-man operator and since then we have grown to be one of Australia’s largest suppliers to the paper and packaging industry.”

The merger will see the Doggett family remain actively involved in growing and shaping the new business but will allow Ken and John [Doggett] to retire from day to day activity. Simon says “The coming together of three industry aligned stakeholders means we can fast track diversification, improve customer value and bring our ‘way of doing business’ to a much bigger platform. High levels of customer service and providing staff with a great place to work are a key focus for the new entity”.

'We look forward to becoming a long term partner to the ANZ market': Akihiko Watanabe, president JP

Akihiko Watanabe, President, JP says “the Australasian market has long been attractive to JP. The opportunity to enter this market with such a strongly-aligned partner enables us to leverage significant existing relationships and introduce more diverse products here. We look forward to the ongoing benefit this will bring to the market and customers and becoming a long term partner to the ANZ market.”

BJ Ball is market leader across a wide range of industry sectors in Australia and New Zealand. It consists of a number of specialised business units servicing the print and packaging industries. The business was established 90 years ago and has successfully innovated and evolved to remain a highly effective player in the fast-moving paper industry.

K.W. Doggett Fine Paper is a long-standing player in the Australian print and packaging industries. The business was founded 42 years ago by Ken and John Doggett and until now, has been family owned and operated. Doggett’s have a strong national footprint and a reputation for quality and reliability.

JP was founded in 1845 and has the largest paper and paperboard distribution business in Japan. It has a global network spanning 22 countries and 50 cities with strengths in procuring from domestic and overseas pulp and paper manufacturers.

The JP business has a long-standing passion for paper and today, is focused on the evolving and changing role of paper in the lives of people and society.


14 Responses to “Japanese pulp & paper giant buys controlling interest in BJ Ball and KW Doggett”

  1. April 12, 2017 at 4:42 pm,

    Mick Edwards

    Good timing that Doggetts and BJ Ballsup send price increase letters via email
    Bj Ball’s dated 18th april and then 40mins later the merger announcement.
    sign of things to come

  2. April 12, 2017 at 5:18 pm,


    Big news – the meeting on the naming will be big …How do you put together dogs and ball…..Stands out like….

  3. April 13, 2017 at 3:18 am,


    Disappointing news. Family values, tell that to the families of the casualties.

  4. April 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm,


    Wowsers, what a bold play that should only strengthen the industry supply. We have heard of too many businesses lately that have raced to the bottom and dissapeared leaving the rest to pick up the pieces. Cant wait to see the next Calendar !

  5. April 13, 2017 at 4:53 pm,

    positive printer

    Congratulations to both the Doggett family and BJ Ball. This is the correct way to structurally realign the industry to meet the demand changes we are all facing. We need strong suppliers to provide the broad range of products with an efficient service mode. The industry should be supportive of this news and welcome JP to this market as a long term strategic investor.

  6. April 18, 2017 at 10:37 am,


    Well overdue. Consolidation will lead to lower costs which will hopefully be passed on as lower prices. Paper merchant mark-up is too high. Paper prices need to go down, not up.

  7. April 18, 2017 at 12:57 pm,


    Re comment from NZ2AU > every point you made, the opposite is the truth particularly “paper merchant mark ups are too high”. You are incorrect and thats why these two mighty merchants had to join forces.

  8. April 18, 2017 at 2:24 pm,


    Not sure that the margins are too high or too low, however, i think the business model is broken and ripe for disruption…

  9. April 18, 2017 at 5:04 pm,


    Re Comment from Greg> I disagree. In an industry where pricing for the end-product ‘Print’ has been falling for years, what justification is there for continual price increases in a crucial raw material component? Prices simply need to come down. Maybe this is the beginning of the end of the ‘price increase letter’ too.

  10. April 18, 2017 at 7:20 pm,


    Re comment from NZ2AU…. having worked in the industry for 40 years, my observation is that the printers have convinced themselves that the merchants make big mark ups. This has never been the case. Sure, they dont convert a piece of coated paper into a printed masterpiece however, there is a cost involved stocking over the top product ranges and dealing in a “just in time” industry where the customer stocks next to no stock and insists on quick deliveries that of course comes at a cost. Eventually the costs come back to bite you when controls are not in place to avoid the same price per 1000 whether you buy 1 ream or 1 pallet. Rather than assuming the merchants make big mark ups, i would suggest accepting their prices and up sell on the quality of the finished print product.

  11. April 19, 2017 at 8:51 am,


    I’m with Greg – paper margins are notoriously slim and the risks high with printers going under owing tens, if not hundreds of thousands of $$. If margins are so high NZ2, explain why PaperlinX crashed and burned so spectacularly last year? However I’m also with Knuckles in that the business model needs overhauling for efficiency. JP is just the company to do this.

  12. April 19, 2017 at 10:39 am,


    Fairgo, the issues that lead to PaperlinX in Europe going under are well documented. It wasn’t for lack of turnover or profits. They simply didn’t overhaul for efficiency quickly enough. The combined BJ’s/Doggies/JP will know what needs to be done.

  13. April 19, 2017 at 12:01 pm,


    NZ mate we will have to agree to disagree. No company crashes and exits when it is highly profitable – they get sold off or taken over. Maybe PPL had turnover but they sure as hell did not have enough profitability! “Turnover is vanity – profit is sanity’ as the old saw goes.

  14. April 19, 2017 at 6:35 pm,

    Inky McFee

    I think the model that made Focus Paper such a tidy business was tossed out when BJ Ball bought them. Consolidation is no guarantee of success, it might provide a short term safety net – and clearly JP are better off investing outside of Japan (Where negative interest rates exist) so it will be watch and wait for me. The low cost suppliers like Direct Paper will be the longer term winners out of this. Sadly a number of employees of Doggett and BJB will be the losers.

    Can anyone list the merchants that have been bought/closed/merged over the last 20 odd years? Tomasetti, Paper House, Daltons, Moirs, Longbottoms, Raleigh, CPI, King and Prior, Jaegars, Focus, Edwards Dunlop, Bowaters – they’re just the Sydney ones i can think of. Now we have just a few.

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