Australian print group Blue Star buys rival Geon's key assets

Australia's leading print group Blue Star has agreed to acquire some of the key assets of rival Geon Group, a troubled company which went into receivership last month following rejection of a lifeline by its private equity owners KKR and Allegro.

The acquired assets include Geon's print site in Banksmeadow, mailing division in Sydney and Mt Waverly facility in Melbourne.

In an interview with Australian magazine Proprint, Blue Star managing director Geoff Selig sai, "The acquisition of these selected Geon assets provides us with a unique opportunity to bring together two outstanding businesses that have been built on extremely high levels of customer service, responsiveness, a diverse product offering and exceptional quality.''

Through the deal, New South Wales-based Blue Star is poised to become the country's largest sheet-fed printing business, giving it about 20-per cent share of the Australian market.

Blue Star has not disclosed the value of the deal. According to analysts, the three sites employ about 400 people and are believed to generate around $120 million in annual revenue.

Sydney-based Geon operates in Australia and New Zealand and prints catalogues and marketing material and also provides mail and logistics services.