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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