Blue Star NZ buys Geon Labels, all debts will be honoured

Blue Star NZ executive chairman Tom Sturgess told ProPrint that the company would honour all debts to bona fide staff and suppliers – as happened when he and Mercury Capital bought Blue Star NZ in January.

He also told ProPrint that Blue Star NZ had offered work to all of Kiwi Labels' 38 staff.

He said the deal was agreed on 1 March and finalised on 4 March, but declined to reveal the financial terms.

Sturgess said Kiwi Labels would sit nicely alongside his two other labels businesses: Panprint, which is owned by Blue Star, and Rapid Labels, which was purchased in 2012 by Tiri Group.

Sturgess said Kiwi Labels had a "terrific reputation" and was "well led". He added that he had tried to buy it a year ago, but had his offer rejected after conducting due diligence.

[Related: Geon Labels hit by quake]

Meanwhile, Geon's former New Zealand boss, Andrew Durrans, started a consultancy role at Blue Star NZ on 1 March.

He told ProPrint that he was working on the sheetfed side of the business and reporting to chief executive David Jupe.

"I've had a positive relationship with David as a competitor and we'll develop a positive relationship as colleagues," he said.

"I think there's going to be a lot of changes in the industry in New Zealand. I think David sees my skills as complementing those already in his team."

Sturgess hinted that Durrans may not be the last top Geon executive to join Blue Star.

"We have great respect for the people in the Geon organisation. We're talking to a number of their staff," he said.

[Related: Ups and downs of Geon]

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