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Last of the lone printers goes to private equity

Last of the lone printers goes to private equity

MINTER ELLISON and Mallesons Stephen Jaques worked on one of the last takeovers of a major independent printing company in Australia.Subsidiaries on S

MINTER ELLISON and Mallesons Stephen Jaques worked on one of the last takeovers of a major independent printing company in Australia.

Subsidiaries on Sirius NZ Holdco Ltd, which is controlled by CHAMP Private Equity, bought the privately owned McMillan Printing Group, comprising McMillan Print in Sydney and Pirion Printing in Canberra.

Sirius NZ Holdco is the parent company of Blue Star Print Group Ltd, New Zealand’s largest print provider, and a major print and related services provider in Australia.

Mallesons Stephen Jaques’ Michael Barker advised Blue Star.

Lead partner from Minter Ellison, Fraser Henderson, said following this deal, virtually all independent printing operations in Australia were now ultimately controlled by private equity firms.

He said the Geon Group was to an extent independent, but it was also majority backed by Gresham Private Equity.

Blue Star also bought Sydney-based Merritt Madden in November 2004, Melbourne-based Print In Vision in July 2006 and National Capital Printing in Canberra in June this year.

The CEO of Blue Star, Geoff Selig, said the company would “continue to seek further complementary acquisition opportunities” with the support of CHAMP.

Henderson said sales of family owned organisations are often sensitive, but the transaction was helped by the fact that Michael Barker was formerly a lawyer at Minters.

“Deals involving family businesses always have their own special dynamic. I think the lawyers’ and advisers’ roles included trying to assist the process to efficiently and effectively overcome those points of potential tension,” he said.

“Vendors try to overvalue businesses and purchasers try to undervalue them. I think we managed that for our client, and obviously Mallesons [did the same] on the other side.”

Others involved in the deal at Minters included IP/IT partner Charles Alexander, HR and IR special counsel Gordon Williams, and real estate partner David McElhone.

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