Blue Star will acquire The POS Collective, its second acquisition of a POS company for 2015 so far, as it drives its growth strategy in the retail display market. The POS Collective will be integrated with Blue Star’s existing retail display facility in Padstow –the former STI Lilyfield site – with the combined business operating under the Blue Star brand, four weeks after the ‘deal is sealed’. Ashay Sharma director of sales at The POS Collective, who will look after POS clients as sales manager with Blue Star, was not available for a comment. The award winning company has offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Guangzhou in China and employs some 50 people across the business.
Its services include digital interactive displays, print displays, creative services, print production, distribution and fulfillment as well as installations. The company’s clients include some big names including, IGA, Dick Smith, Canon, Calvin Klein, Bupa, Jack Daniels as well as several others. Speaking with the Australian Printer, Blue Star’s chief operating officer Matt Aitken says the company has been in ‘dialogue with The POS Collective to acquire it for the last four months’ and says the focus is now on the deal to ensure it goes through ‘smoothly’. Aitken says, “The intended transaction, which follows the acquisition of STI Lilyfield from STI Group in mid-2014 as well as the Thompson POS in February 2015, is to create a formidable offering in the Australian retail market. “When we acquired STI last year, we made the decision to be a significant player in this space, which we did through organic growth and acquisitions, and now with the POS purchase we want to slow down the growth through acquisition strategy for 2015, and grow organically. “We are not the biggest in the market, but we certainly are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to POS and wide format solutions.” Aitken did not want to say if The POS Collective buyout would lead to job losses, saying the company must first speak with the employees, who have heard about the news this morning, before a ‘definite number is announced’. He says, “We are in the process of sitting with all the staff to understand what their skills and capabilities are to make a decision about how many can come across to work for Blue Star, but I can say that more than 80 per cent should keep their jobs.” The POS Collective also has an office in Guangzhou, China, from where it sources more than 70 per cent of its products. Aitken says that while it is good news commercially for Blue Star to have a base in China, Blue Star has no ‘intention to send work offshore’. “One of the strengths of The POS Collective is that they do a lot of work in China, and it is good news for us to develop a base in Asia, but I don’t think that we will send jobs overseas,” Aitken says. “We employ more than 1000 Australian staff and we will continue our production in Australia, when the customer asks us to bring in products from Asia then we would consider it. But our strategy is to grow Blue Star in Australia and keep jobs locally.”
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