Eastlink Bookbinding to open doors

Victoria has a new trade finishing business Eastlink Bookbinding, which is set to begin operations in Melbourne on Thursday, in the same premises as commercial printer Hornet Press.

John Mandile has started the venture after buying Hornet Press last year from previous owner Graham Bell. Eastlink will offer finishing, laminating and die cut services.

Mandile says, “I am a bookbinder and printer by trade, I do not have anything to do with finishing but it made sense to start a business in that area. I have bought some more equipment, a couple of pieces for binding.

Former Ability Press owner Michael Wu is working at the new company as a bindery manager, alongside his brother Max who is production supervisor. Mandile says there is no truth in the rumours around the Melbourne trade that Wu is an owner of either business.

Mandile says, “I had already employed Max Wu and he was a good worker. I needed someone who was knowledgeable about finishing, and I have known Michael Wu for years, so I gave him a job looking after that. He is only an employee at Eastlink Press, and he has nothing to do with Hornet Press.”

[Related: Two Sydney bookbinders join forces in merger]

 “I have worked in the printing industry for around 30 years. I decided it was easier to work for myself rather than other people. I had a good list of contacts and I decided to buy Hornet because it is a good and very well established business.

“Graham has made a good solid business, it has been running for something like 30 years. All of the equipment is updated and Graham has been sure to maintain it. The staff and the clients keep coming back and it is all good. Graham was hoping to retire and pass on the business. He is still there currently, this was a good way for him to transfer ownership. He is planning to stay for a couple of years but he can stay as long as he likes as far as I am concerned. He is a good guy.”

Bell says, "John is operating the business both here and interstate. I am planning to stick around for a while yet."

Bell owned Hornet Press for 35 years, having founded the company in 1982 with wife Sandra Bell. Hornet Press currently has more than 20 staff.

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5 thoughts on “Eastlink Bookbinding to open doors

  1. And if you believe that story, then I guess father Christmas IS real, as is the tooth fairy, and that pigs can fly and that the Liberals can win the next federal election !!

    Seriously ProPrint, if your going to publish this rubbish how about showing some respect to your profession as journalists and to our industry who supports your magazine with advertising dollars and do some bloody research and ask some relative questions like, “we find it unusual that a man who has never owned a printing business before suddenly buys a printing business in another state from where he lives, co-incidentally with “managers” with a track record in the industry like the “Wu” brothers to run it for you, can you please explain” ? Really, no I mean really ??

    “Can you show us the ASIC documentation for change of ownership” ?

    “Will you categorically state for the record that ownership of any kind is not in the hands of and of the Wu brothers or associated parties, nor is there any off the table deals been done” ?

    “Is it true all staff have been told by “management” that there is to be NO overtime penalty rates, just a flat hourly rate and was that directive given by Michael Wu, which is normally an order given by a director not a manager” ?

    And “in my opinion” regardless of the veracity of their pleading, I don’t believe him nor them.

    Again “in my opinion” It’s people like Michael Wu who need to be run out of this industry and those that support them need to have a good hard look at themselves considering the carnage they have left behind following the ownership of many businesses with previous partners, trade suppliers and paper suppliers copping the fall out, not to mention the businesses that had to compete with him during his suicidal pricing structure until he run out of money, all of which NEVER got paid, my company included despite personal promises from Wu to the contrary !!

    We in the trade have a duty to support ethical owners and businesses above ALL else, and that’s where WE can all stand together and support your current suppliers above cheap prices, predatory marketing, and for the health and respect of our industry.

    So publish this Proprint, and let your readers see where you stand on protecting the industry and the people and companies who have supported your magazine.

    But in closing let me be very clear about my reasons for this post…………

    I have NO issue with competition (hell we have plenty of it now), new businesses starting, nor those brave enough who were employees who decided to have a crack and start their own businesses, but after spending over 35 years in the print industry, over 20 as an owner it has taught me something….. “If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and walks like a duck” then it usually is, and in this case it’s a leopard trying to change it’s spots, and it has not been know to have ever happened !!!

    1. Not sure why you would imagine that story was rubbish – a new trade binder is opening in Melbourne, the owner also owns Hornet, MIchael Wu is working there. It goes without saying that of course ProPrint did ask both the current and former owner of Hornet if Michael Wu was a full or part owner of the business, and got an unequivocal no from both parties. There is no law on who an owner can employ, if an owner believes an employee’s pluses outweigh his minuses that’s up to him. There are laws about underpaying staff / not paying penalty rates. Eastlink is a trade binder, it is up to the trade to decide how to respond.

  2. You will be proven wrong.
    Michael Wu owns Multi Art printing too.
    Why would he go work at a new binder ?
    Just post my comment and see the industry comments.
    There’s already meetings being planned, creditors are asking questions and you reply in this manner.
    Just post my comment please.

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