Moore floats print management arm

Moore Australasia’s head of commercial and strategic operations Laurie Newman told ProPrint that shares in Moore Business Solutions Australia (MBSA) had been purchased by Argus as part of “backdoor listing”.

Newman also hit back at inaccurate reports within the trade media that described the deal as a ‘takeover’.

He added that reports implying the deal included Moore Group’s trade and office printing businesses were also wrong.

Both PPL and Moore Office will remain as private entities within the Moore Group, and are unaffected by the merger.

Newman said that the deal meant the three companies would no longer have to co-ordinate their activities as part of an integrated unit.

“We now have three companies that can focus and invest in their target market,” he said.

Newman also said that there will be no reductions in headcount as a result of the deal, with MBSA to be integrated wholesale into Argus.

“Everyone’s moving across,” Newman said. “It was a very clean move. The entire business has just moved into a new structure.”

Newman said a decision to take MBSA public was made last year, with a float initially being the favoured approach. The company later decided that a purchase and sale agreement with the already-listed Argus would “be easier than doing a float from scratch”.

The deal is technically an acquisition of MBSA by Argus, but MBSA has effectively assumed control of the merged enterprise. MBSA managing director David Glavonjic has been appointed as managing director of Argus.

“We ended up taking them over because we’re bigger.” Newman said.

Argus is expected to emerge from a trading halt in the next few days. It entered a halt on Christmas Eve as it prepared for the MBSA bid.

MBSA has taken 51.3 million shares in Argus, and Glavonjic, Amir Hyster and David Paterson have all been appointed to the Argus board.

“The company will continue to evaluate opportunities to generate earnings growth with business acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances with customers, suppliers and channel participants,” said Glavonjic.

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