Lamb Print and Vanguard merge to drive WA print consolidation

The Perth-based printer officially merged with fellow Western Australian firm Vanguard Print on 1 January.

Lamb owner Steve Larcombe told ProPrint he had been looking for a partner after the proposed deal with Supreme Printing “went belly-up on me” last year.

Supreme was wound up by major creditor NAB in August 2011.

Of the Vanguard deal, Larcombe said: “What we’ve gained is the scale, which is what I tried to do with Supreme. There’s a lot of savings that happen by coming together.”

Vanguard owner Ted van Heemst had also been eyeing the benefits of pooling resources.

“We will be able to put together a business with a bit more critical mass. From our perspective, there’s a lot of synergy between the two businesses.”

The merger fitted Vanguard’s strategy to grow its business and upgrade its machinery, said van Heemst. Vanguard’s finishing equipment had been “substantially upgraded” through the deal.

Both men agreed that there needed to be consolidation in the printing industry.

“The print industry has reached the stage where you need to be of a certain scale,” van Heemst said.

According to Larcombe, the merged company has invested in two new Heidelberg presses: a five-colour with aqueous coater installed late last year and an eight-colour perfector press currently being put in.

The Lamb brand will continue to exist, with relocation of its machinery expected to finish in about two weeks. Lamb has provided finishing and pre-press equipment and a small Xerox digital printer.

Lamb has also brought along 22 staff. Larcombe said there had been two redundancies: an estimator and plate maker.

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