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Takeover #2 – GEON gives WA its first taste of PE action with Advance Press buyout

Wednesday, 26 September 2007
By Print 21 Online Article

The move is likely to be the first in a series of buyouts and investments in the West as GEON seeks to replicate its strategy of delivering digital printing and mailing capability at every location. Advance is a full-on Heidelberg offset printing shop.

A national footprint across Australia becomes a reality for the sheetfed specialist as long-established Perth printer joins the number of east coast – Vic, NSW & Queensland – printing and mailing companies under the GEON  banner.
The buyout of the CTI Logistics company extends the private equity backed consolidator’s reach across the region from New Zealand to WA. It brings to 25 the total number of operating business under the GEON banner – 14 in Australia and 11 in New Zealand.

Although the ASX-listed seller did not disclose the selling price it noted the transaction is expected to produce a profit of over $4.5 million. The Heidelberg-equipped Advance with 60 employees fits the profile for GEON takeovers. Staff under Ian Smith, general manager, will continue to operate the business from its Bassendean premises in Perth.

According to Gordon Towell, GEON CEO, the acquisition is in line with the ongoing strategy of providing large corporate clients with the widest possible spread of printing facilities across the region.

"We have a lot of large corporate clients who expect us to have facilities where they want to print. The lack of a presence in Western Australia was going to cost us money.

“Advance Press is an exceptional print company that is highly regarded in the Perth marketplace with an impressive customer base. We believe it will make a strong and immediate contribution to the GEON Group. In addition, this acquisition now provides us with unmatched geographical coverage across Australia and New Zealand which gives us a unique ability to service the large corporate market” he said.  

The transfer is almost a home coming for the WA printer, which was originally owned by WA-conglomerate Wesfarmers before being sold to CTI Logistics. GEON is owned by PE company Gresham Group, which is chaired by Michael Chaney following his retirement as MD of Wesfarmers.

In Victoria GEON continues to consolidate, moving its Graphic Printworks personnel and equipmnent into the revamped Mt Waverly site that was the home of the former Penfold Buscombe. The integration took place last week and involved the relocation of all staff and equipment.

Gordon Towell flagged the intenetion to create a digital facility in Melboure’s downtown Dockland, linked to the Mt Waverly site.


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