Posts Tagged ‘PMP’

  • Focus Press gets set for Canberra expansion

    Focus Press is getting set for a major expansion into the nation’s capital, with the company scouting around for a new Canberra site after buying PMP’s operations at Fyshwick.

    The Canberra expansion marks Focus Press’s first foray into property and operations outside of NSW, with the company possessing two sites in Sydney and another greenfield site in Wollongong – which is still in its first year of operation – prior to July’s completion of the PMP Canberra acquisition.

    According to David Fuller (pictured), Focus Press managing director, the move to take on the PMP operation in Fyshwick is a stepping-stone to the establishment of a larger Focus Press site in Canberra, which will combine the digital equipment from the former PMP site along with a host of new offset sheet fed equipment.

    “We’re looking for a new site there in Canberra, so we’ll combine the new business across to the new site by Christmas this year,” said Fuller. “We’ll relocate what’s at the PMP facility and add to it.

    “All the range of digital equipment from PMP will be moved across, and we’ll be adding to it with some sheetfed equipment. The existing former PMP site is just a bit too small with the additional sheetfed equipment. A five-colour plus coater will be going in, along with some finishing gear, but there’ll also be more to come,” he said.

    Former Blue Star and PMP employees, along with others from further afield, will populate the new site. Although the PMP site’s staff were made redundant when Focus Press moved in, according to Fuller, a number were rehired under the new ownership, as were former Blue Star staff.

    In fact, Focus ACT has taken on Ian O’Connor, former Blue Star ACT general manager, to run the Fyshwick site. Most of the former Blue Star staff were made redundant when the company sold its Canberra business to Opus Group in March.

    “We’re just employing people as we see fit,” said Fuller. “We’ve employed some people from all different parts of Canberra – some from blue star and others from all around the pace.”

    For Fuller, the move to Australia’s capital was prompted by the opportunity to capitalise on the departure of the Blue Star brand from that immediate market.

    “The purchase was more about opportunities and taking opportunities as they pop up, and to be prepared for them,” said Fuller. “In Canberra we have a very strong presence. The PMP thing was an opportunity for us, as was Blue Star moving out.”

  • Label printer is the mystery PMP bidder

    Three weeks ago an unknown bidder put a highly conditional non-binding indicative offer for the purchase of PMP, the region’s largest printing company. Anthony Karam, CEO of label and ticketing printer TMA, is identified as the mystery bidder.

    PMP locked down Monday morning under a trading halt, while Karam and co walked into a full day of back-to-back meetings with no comment. PMP’s shares jumped 5% when it resumed trading later in the day.

    STOP PRESS: PMP issued a statement at noon where it acknowledged the TMA offer. It referred to media reports as triggering its response. The company’s share trading halt will continue for another day. TMA has provided funding commitment letters in a form that is customary at this preliminary stage of a potential transaction. The views expressed in the funding commitment letters are preliminary and any funding commitment that may be made in the future is subject to the completion of due diligence to financiers’ satisfaction, credit and other required approvals and documentation.

    TMA is no stranger to a takeover having acquired Label Press in 2004 and Cashflow in 2007. Anthony (pictured) and his sister Corienne control around 81% of the company they founded in 1982 and delisted from the stock exchange late-2011.

    The takeover announcement sent PMP’s share price flying up to just over 60 cents, more than double the dubious levels where it has languished for most of this year. However, since then the market has demonstrated its mistrust in the bid by allowing the share price to drop back to 37 cents at the time of writing.

    Apart from the trading halt the only response from the company, posted on the ASX, is that the directors are considering the approach and will keep the market informed of developments. The company has also appointed Gresham Partners, whose PE arm owns GEON, as its financial advisors in relation to the bid.

    The bid is for between 0.68 to $0.78 cents per share, which values the company at between $220 million and $252 million, almost twice the value of the business at its current share price. ($123 million)

    The company is a good cash cow, turning over $577.5 million for the first half year, but only delivering $8.8 million net profit after tax. Even then significant items, swallowed half of that leaving only $4.6m.

    Since the bid was announced, the industry has been in a ferment of speculation as to the identity of the mystery bidder. TMA Group was identified by an industry source on Friday and outed in today’s financial press. Industry observers reckon there has to be PE money funding the deal, possibly from Asia.

    TMA employs over 300 people and maintains manufacturing facilities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland and Shanghai as well as sales offices in Perth, Manila, Hong Kong and Bangkok. Stay posted for further developments.

  • Drupa kick-off – automatic for the printing press from manroland websystems

    Hannanprint opts for autoprint, the radically new operating system for its new 96-page web press for Sydney, manroland autoprint; PMP may also bite the bullet for ´no touch´ printing on its Perth press.

    From the first press conference of drupa comes news likely to transform how printing is done in Australia. Reaffirming manroland web system´s technology leadership, Peter Kuisle, director of the resurgent web press manufacturer, confirmed that at least one of the two huge web presses destined for Australia will be fitted with the latest in automated control, the autoprint system.

    Describing it as fully automated press control, he said the technology means the press actually controls itself, leaving the operator to act as a supervisor of the production. It is the culmination of manroland´s ´one touch´philosophy, which is still a work in progress although sufficiently developed to change how presses operate.

    A new autoprint operating panel has not a single button, rather relying on an iPad-style touch bar. The system comes in different forms with an expert mode that allows the operator more control for those really tricky jobs.

    Kuisle confirmed the Hannanprint press will have the complete autoperint and said PMP is considering whether to pay the extra money.

    It was just one of the fascinating highlights that emerged from the first press conference on the day before the show opens. manroland is a much smaller company than the behemoth that was here four years ago. It shares the pre-booked stand with manroland sheetfed copmpany, as it cooperates with the UK-based buyout in markets around then world.

    The market for its products, newspaper and commercial web presses, is less than a third of what it was four years ago. It is operating on a business plan that calls for a turnover of €300 milion per year. Half of that will necessarily come from service while the rest, €180 million this year, is from new machinery. It´s tough going and it comes as no surprise that manroloand websystems will not hit its revenue targets in this first year of its new life.

    Kuisle said they were continuing with all the press brands and formats while adding a focus on working with Oce on a digital intergration partnership. manroland supplies the paperhandling and finishing systems while Oce sells its high-speed inkjet engines into the newspaper market, where its partner has traditional market leadership. The first sophisticated joint development was announced as going into a French newspaper and magazine company, Rivet Presse Edition.

    Sounding upbeat and positive, Kuisle projected a confidence that the company is now stronger than ever, with access to more capital from its new owner, Possehl. The glory days of the first half of the decade when manroland sold €2billion presses every year is not likley to ever return, but courtesy of manroland web systems this drupa starts off with a determined and optimistic svision for the future of printing.