ACCC gives green light to KW Doggett BJ Ball merger

The ACCC has given the green light to the proposed KW Doggett and BJ Ball merger, which brings together two of the big three paper merchants in a deal which will also see majority ownership be taken by Japan Pulp and Paper.

Planning is now underway for the new business, and a completion date has been set for July 3.

According to both companies the new entity will become the largest, most diversified paper, packaging and print media distribution business across Australia and New Zealand, delivering broader product offerings and improved supply chain efficiencies.

Heading the new entity is Simon Doggett, managing director of KW Doggett Fine Paper along with Craig Brown, CEO and Luke Wilkinson, general manager Australia from BJ Ball. A leadership group with significant industry experience and broad skill sets from both brands will also lead the business.

[Related: JP buys 51% of BJ Ball and KW Doggett for $75m]

Simon Doggett says, “Now that we are able to move forward with planning the launch of the new business, we are forming teams to bring the plan to life. A critical aspect for me will be to maintain our high level of service, culture and product during this time.”

Craig Brown says, “The merger will be a game-changer for our industry and ensures we’re meeting the future head-on. Not only does this involve sustaining our position in the print and paper industry for the decade ahead, it also guarantees we’re a progressive long-term employer.”

A merger of this size inevitably involves site and team consolidations. All staff affected by the move will be supported through the transition. The businesses will continue to deliver high standards in service and product quality, as well as providing ongoing value to shareholders. Also, a well-known and respected agency in Sydney has been appointed to develop a brand identity, including a name for the new company.

BJ Ball and KW Doggett Fine Paper welcome their partnership with Japan Pulp and Paper (JP), a major stakeholder in the new entity. This alliance establishes them as a reliable provider and further supports their commitment to the expansion of the print and paper industry.

AK Watanabe, president of Japan Pulp and Paper says, “We are very pleased that the merger has been approved. It is an exciting step forward. JP is committed to being a long-term partner to the ANZ market.”

Under the deal BJ Ball AU will acquire 100 per cent of KW Doggett and BJ Ball NZ. Then Japan Pulp & Paper will pay $74,949,600 for a 51 per cent stake in the new company, PagePack AU. This company will own 100 per cent of BJ Ball AU, BJ Ball NZ and KW Doggett.

Other shareholders will be PagePack NZ – the current owner of BJ Ball – with 29 per cent, KW Doggett Properties with 16.2 per cent, and Ken Ardcowan Pty which will own 2.86 per cent. The latter two entities are the current owners of KW Doggett.

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