Blue Star Group, the revitalised printing operation under new ownership, has bought a New Zealand labels unit from the receivers of ailing rival Geon Group.
The sale was completed yesterday and will see the transfer of 38 Geon employees and their entitlements to Blue Star, receivers Andrew Grenfell and William Black of McGrathNicol said in a statement. No price was disclosed, and the receivers are looking for buyers for the remainder of Geon's New Zealand businesses by the end of the week.
"This is a very pleasing outcome and enables the labels business to transition out of receivership under new ownership, which will provide stability for customers and employees," the receivers said.
Geon was placed in receivership last month after private equity firms KKR and Allegro mopped up the Australasian printing group's debt, taking control of the company. Geon was formed by the 2007 merger of Pacific Print Group and Promentum.
Printing companies have been struggling in recent years as publishers look for new ways to cut costs in an environment where more readers are shifting on-line.
Blue Star went through its own turmoil in recent years and was eventually bought by Australian private equity firm Mercury Capital and former owner Tom Sturgess from Champ Private Equity, who swallowed a $173 million writedown in goodwill.