Blue Star buyout: Australian business acquired by Geoff Selig

Sources close to the deal told ProPrint that the buyout of the business, for an undisclosed sum, comprises the group’s Print Australia division as well as the Australian operations of heatset web division Webstar, which together are thought to constitute more than half of the overall group.

However, Geoff Selig did not comment when contacted by ProPrint.

It has been suggested that the deal would lead to a roll-up strategy between Silverwater-based Webstar and Huntingwood-based CaxtonWeb, which Selig established in 2010 after acquiring the assets of Quality Print Group.

The Sydney web rivals target the same small- to medium-run end of the magazine and catalogue market.

Webstar also has New Zealand operations, with a heatset catalogue plant in the town of Masterton and a magazine site in Auckland, which was established in 2011 to cater for its exclusive ACP contract. These are not part of the deal.

Blue Star’s Australian business also comprises extensive sheetfed offset and digital production in New South Wales and Victoria.

It is thought that the deal for Blue Star’s Australian business was signed this morning, after weeks of speculation about a potential Selig buyout and months since the group was put up for sale.

In late July, Blue Star called a trading halt to its bonds listed on the New Zealand Exchange July after it emerged that the group had appointed Goldman Sachs to manage the sale process.

It remains unclear what will happen to the group’s New Zealand division.

Rumours have suggested the NZ business would be acquired by Blue Star’s former owner Tom Sturgess, who has remained a shareholder since selling the group to Champ Private Equity in 2006 for $375 million.

Sturgess re-entered the industry earlier this year with the acquisition of one of the group’s New Zealand divisions, Rapid Labels.

[Related: Ups and downs of Blue Star]

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