Opus free to delist

Opus Group is set to delist from the ASX and register itself on the Hong Kong stock exchange along with relocating its base to Bermuda from Australia, having been approved by the federal court.

Opus, which includes Australian printers CanPrint, Ligare and Mcpherson’s Printing Group (MPG), says its re-domiciliation involves moving all of its capital to newly incorporated Bermudan entity Left Field Printing Group (TopCo) on the basis of three TopCo shares for every one Opus share. TopCo will list on the HKEx.

Currently trading of Opus shares is suspended. The scheme is to be implemented from October 8.

Richard Celarc, chairman, Opus says, “From the board’s perspective, it is business as usual for all of our printing business in Australia. Our top priority will always be to meet and excel our client’s expectations and what we have stated in terms of expansion plans and equipment purchase are all aligned to meet this priority.

“OPUS Group’s manufacturing operations will continue to be based in Australia,  providing local employment opportunities and working with local suppliers to service all of our Australian customers.

[Related: Opus profit doubles as sales slip]

“It is not a tax avoidance scheme. Opus has paid and will continue to pay full tax to the Australian government under the three operating subsidiaries – McPhersons Printing Group, Ligare and CanPrint Communications.

“Since Lion Rock Group took majority control of Opus in 2014, approximately A$7 million has been spent on upgrading capacity and equipment. Significant capital investment will also be spent in the coming 2 years.

“Opus has reached a point where significant investments for machinery upgrade and plant consolidation is needed. Therefore, a move of its listing to Hong Kong where the interest of investors in the printing sector is stronger will help the company’s fund raising in the future.”

In the first half of the year, Opus saw its profit almost double, with its profit after tax coming to $6.3m, a 95 per cent jump from $3.2m in the prior corresponding period, with the company citing a rise in profit from its book printing. Revenue for the half came to $38.8m, a slight decline of 2 per cent from $39.7m while EBITDA was $7.6m, rising 44 per cent from $5.27m.

Lion Rock Group, formerly 1010 Printing Group and a Hong Kong listed company, is the controlling shareholder for Opus, with 75 per cent. The company is incorporated in Bermuda with limited liability. In addition to Opus in Australia, Lion Rock also owns 1010 Printing in China, and a print management group comprising Asia Pacific Offset, Regent Publishing Services and Oceanic Graphic International.

According to a Frost & Sullivan market research report, in terms of revenue generated last year, Opus is the largest government segment printing services provider within the industry in Australia, ranking fifth in the overall commercial printing market along with being the largest provider in the local book printing industry.

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