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Richard Rasmussen Market Watch May 2012

Tuesday, 08 May 2012
By Print 21 Online Article
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April provided a wide and varied mix of market movements, starting with Focus Press, NSW, receiving a Federal Gov grant worth $6 million to establish a new state-of-the-art printing facility in Woolongong that will employ 190 people.

In Melbourne we saw Sands Print Group fall into administration with reported debts of $5 million. Pleasingly, yesterday came the news from the administrator that they had seven “hard offers”, so hopefully that will translate into some good news for many employees and creditors.

Perhaps the biggest news in terms of possible transaction size was announced by one of Australia’s largest printers, PMP Limited. Here we heard that an indicative offer was made on the business for between 68 and 78 cents per share. On the previous day PMP’s share price was around 25 cents. So there is bound to be much speculation around the rationale for offering close to three times the share price and who the suitor is.

There was also the now familiar round of liquidations / administrations / creditor’s meeting which included Print Associates (NSW), Heatprint Australia (VIC), AP Digital (NSW), Minit Print (VIC), Print Specifix (VIC) and Steve Parish Publishing (VIC, leaving 2.9 million in debt).

Quantum Printing (NSW) and Miss Print (VIC) were also sold, both to local parties from within the trade.

On the supplier side, Shinohara was sold to Hans-Gronhi. Under normal circumstances this would be front page news, after all Shinohara was one of the major A3 sheet fed offset manufacturers for the past two decades in Australia, possibly second only to Heidelberg. We await news as to what will happen with distributorship from Currie and Co.

In other supplier news, we saw Dahaher propose to buy X-Rite and Autobox Machinery acquire Andrew and Suter.

Major Sales of Equipment

We had a relatively quiet month in terms of reported sales and installations of machinery, possibly because of that rather large German Trade Show beginning in two days.

What was reported was interesting though:

  • Assta Label House (NSW) installed a Indigo WS 4500 and a DIgicon label cutter
  • Photobook Shop a Unibind casemaker 750A to provide triple the output of photobooks.
  • AMR Hewitt (VIC), a specialist packaging company, purchased  new Heideleberg Dymatrix 113 diecutter.
  • And anther wide format machine, this time a Roland Versa UV LEJ-640, to Eye Tonic (NSW)

Businesses for Sale

We have our share of larger printers, the largest with $10 million turnover, and a couple of smaller ones, one with $620,000, the other with $1 million turnover. We have two under offer at the moment, but are keen to secure more, as there were a number of purchasers disappointed they missed out. Visit our web site, www.ascentpartners.com.au for more details.

Market Watch Subscription

To subscribe to our monthly Market Watch e-newsletter, which provides more details on the above summary of market movements and major equipment sales and installations, and the corresponding links to the individual stories, and the businesses we are marketing, visit our web site, www.ascentpartners.com.au. Here you can also download previous editions (back to Quarter 1 of this financial year) in PDF Format.

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