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Labels business Hexagon up for sale

Wednesday, 18 April 2018
By Print 21 Online Article

Hexagon’s Rapid Labels, Auckland.

Private equity firm Mercury Capital is looking for a buyer for Hexagon Holdings – its trans-Tasman label making business that includes Adhesif Labels and Hally Labels.

Goldman Sachs NZ is handling the sale and is expected to set up an auction in coming weeks, according to a report in The Australian Financial Review.

“Investment bank Goldman Sachs has been shopping Hexagon and its management team to potential suitors in recent weeks, pitching the company as the leading Australasian labels platform with about $40 million in annual earnings,” says AFR’s Street Talk.

Auckland-based Hexagon – owned by Mercury Capital and NZ businessman Tom Sturgess – owns eight label manufacturing facilities across New Zealand and Australia, including Adhesif Labels (Auckland, Sydney), Hally Labels (Auckland, Brisbane, Christchurch, Sydney), Kiwi Labels (Christchurch) and Rapid Labels (Auckland).

“Hexagon will be on the radar of cashed-up Australian and global private equity firms,” according to the report. “The business is expected to be worth $300 million to $400 million, which means it is big enough for global firms to consider and small enough to be offered to domestic buyout shops.” 

Hexagon was formed by Mercury Capital after the merger of Blue Star [NZ] Print Group’s label businesses, Panprint and Kiwi Labels, with three other labels companies. It shares common directors and owners with Blue Star NZ – the printing business formerly owned by CHAMP Private Equity – but is run separately.

“While Hexagon shares common directors with Blue Star Group, the two groups are operationally separate, in recognition of the significant differences between label converting and commercial print,” says Hexagon’s website.

Hexagon businesses employ 520 staff across ten production facilities. 

Hexagon acquired family-owned trans-Tasman label converter Hally Group in 2015.

Hally Labels last week moved into a new purpose-built facility in Sydney as it prepared to launch its Hally Express five-day turnaround service on the Australian market.

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