Opus is king of Canberra after acquiring Blue Star ACT

The deal will see "certain assets and the revenue base" change hands, said Opus, and is not a going-concern sale.

"The transaction is anticipated to deliver revenues of approximately $12.5 million on an annualised basis with the full financial benefits of this acquisition expected to be seen in FY14," according to Opus.

"Settlement of the consideration for the acquisition will occur on a deferred basis over a two-year period, based on the actual revenue contribution with minimum thresholds in place."

Blue Star managing director Geoff Selig told ProPrint that Opus had acquired the customer list and a yet-to-be-determined collection of machinery, but not supplier debts or employee entitlements. He added that some Blue Star staff would probably join Opus' Canberra operation, Canprint.

Selig wouldn't be drawn on the value of the deal and said it was too early to know if there would be any redundancies.

The deal puts Canprint in a particularly strong position in this election year, with the withdrawal of Blue Star and collapse of Geon, which also regularly produced Federal work.

[Related: Canprint installs Canberra's biggest press]

Opus chief executive Cliff Brigstocke said the Blue Star deal was "a positive outcome for our group’s footprint and market position".

"This rationalisation has been anticipated for some time and while it presents short‐term challenges, the long‐term benefits will flow to the Opus Group as a result of reduced excess capacity in the market and a more stable competitive environment," he said.

"The Opus Group business model, based on shorter runs with shorter lead times supported by digital technology, workflow automation and being a key part of our customers supply chain through our global footprint, positions us to take advantage of the current structural changes in the market."

Meanwhile, Selig said Blue Star would continue to be represented in the ACT through its print management arm, IQ.

"We're not getting out of Canberra… Our IQ offering and our team in the print management space will remain and are very committed to this market," he told ProPrint.

Selig said Blue Star's lack of a wholly-owned printing company in Canberra would not affect IQ.

"[IQ] leverages off its expertise in the print management area and uses an extensive supply chain in Canberra and NSW and Victoria," he said.

"Canprint will be an important supplier for our IQ print management business and potentially elsewhere."

[Related: Ups and downs of Opus]

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