Opus on expansion drive in New Zealand, Singapore and China

Richard Celarc (pictured), who set up Ligare in Australia, will relocate to New Zealand this month to “oversee the building of a world-leading fast response printing business in Auckland” – a move tipped exclusively by ProPrint in early January.

Opus chief executive Cliff Brigstocke today told ProPrint that as well as setting up “a greenfield Ligare”, his company is also in ongoing negotiations over an acquisition in the New Zealand book printing sector.

“Through the back end of the negotiation on that acquisition, things had slowed down. It will still proceed but not as fast as our clients wanted.

“So we took the decision at our January board meeting to go with stage one of a two-stage plan in New Zealand,” said Brigstocke, who added that the NZ and Asian deals should push Opus past $100m turnover.

Celarc added: “There’s no more exciting time to be in the business of printing. We are responding to shorter deadlines and new digital formats and we see the New Zealand business as a template for the very future of printing.”

Opus has also signed strategic alliances with Singapore-based COS Printers and Hong Kong-based Hung Hing.

Brigstocke said Opus had tied with the two Asian printers in January. The ventures would allow Opus to offer lower-cost long-run work for its Australian publishing customers, he added.

“If a publisher wants a short run, Ligare can do that onshore. But if cost is an issue and time isn’t, the long run could be done offshore,” he added.

“There might also be a customer who wants all the work done offshore because they are cost-conscious. We will manage the on behalf of the client. We can manage the pre-press onshore and coordinate with work with the printer offshore,” said Brigstocke.

COS Printers is a 30-year-old company that offers offset and digital printing, as well as book and journal work for international clients.

COS managing director Alfred Ang said: “We look forward to working closely with Opus and their chief executive, Cliff Brigstocke, to service clients across Australia and Asia with a one-stop group print capability.”

Hung Hing, which is 50 years old, has 17,000 employees across several sites in China and specialises in packaging production, as well as book printing.

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