Brisbane printer grows 25% through merger, eyes more consolidation

A Brisbane print shop has followed through on its promise to consolidate on its own terms – and is now looking for more partners.

Newstead-based Valley Edge Design Centre merged on 2 December with West End operation Handy Printing Service.

Valley Edge managing director Rocky Cassaniti told ProPrint in June that he was open to joining forces with another company as a way to cope with a shrinking market.

He said the article had generated interest among potential partners and that he was currently in serious talks with another party.

He approached Handy Printing after learning through the Printing Industries Association of Australia that it needed to vacate its premises and was considering closing, he said.

"I sold them the benefits of working for a company like mine. We're very big on personal service and quality and also we have dreams to expand through digital, through signage, and they liked that it was more than just offering printing to a client," he told ProPrint.

[Related: Print Approach makes two Qld acquisitions]

Cassaniti is in charge of the enlarged company, which operates out of Newstead, and which continues to run the two businesses as separate divisions. Valley Edge provides about 80% of company revenue and Handy Printing 20%, he said.

"I think there are a lot of small printing companies out there who are struggling under the weight of the massive overheads associated with our industry and with Christmas just around the corner there will be some out there who are really hurting," he said.

"Mergers like the one we have just struck with Handy Printing Service provide a real opportunity for everyone involved, and I would be pleased to chat with any other companies who might like to discuss the possibilities – we have lots of room."

Handy Printing directors Ray Hodges and Andrew Potter have decided to move on, but fellow director Rosemary Grier has remained with the business.

Grier said Handy Printing had offloaded its presses as part of the merger and had delivered a customer list with about 1,000 names to the enlarged company.

"With our overheads drastically cut and the majority of our clients following us to our new home, we are very hopeful for the times ahead and are tentatively forecasting a 40% growth in our bottom line over the next 12 months, which is very exciting for us," she said.

[LinkedIn: Will we see more consolidation in the industry?]

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