18/03/2013 - 15:56

Printer GEON sold to management

18/03/2013 - 15:56

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Printer GEON sold to management

One of Perth’s largest commercial printing businesses has been sold to its local management team following the collapse of national operator GEON Australia.

GEON’s receivers and managers McGrathNicol announced today an agreement in-principle to sell the Bassendean business and operations to a management team headed by current general manager Ian Smith.

McGrathNicol said it had conducted an extensive campaign to sell all of the GEON businesses and received a high level of interest in the Perth operations.

It said the sale of the Perth operations reflects the strong historical performance of the business, known as Advance Press, before it was acquired in 2007 by GEON, which was effectively a national aggregation of printing businesses backed by Wesfarmers’ private equity arm Gresham.

Mr Smith was general manager under the previous ownership.

“We have worked very hard over the past month with the management and staff of GEON Perth to keep the business trading whilst conducting the sale process,” said McGrathNicol partner James Thackray.

“There were a number of bidders who submitted offers that clearly understand the value in the GEON business in Western Australia. The management offer represents the best value for all stakeholders.

“Pleasingly most of the 63 employees will retain their jobs at the Bassendean offset and digital printing facility. Customers and suppliers will be advised of the sale in due course, which is expected to complete shortly,” Mr Thackray added.

The Perth business is likely to be one of the few GEON operations that will survive intact.

New Zeaand based Blue Star Group plans to acquire selected assets in Sydney and Melbourne, and intends to close the GEON facilities in those cities, preferring to integrate the relevant operations into its existing business.

The Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville operations have been shut down.

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