Ovato shareholders vote yes on sale of retail distribution arms

Shareholders in one of Australia’s most significant print businesses, Ovato, have voted to sell 100 per cent of the company’s Australian and New Zealand residential distribution businesses to magazine publisher and shareholder, Are Media, for $15 million.

The votes were cast at an Extraordinary Annual General Meeting last week with the results posted on the ASX.

Ovato chairman Michael Hannan led the EGM and said the directors recommended shareholders vote in favour of the resolution to sell the Ovato Retail Distribution (Ovato Retail AU) and Ovato Retail Distribution NZ Ltd (Ovato Retail NZ) and also increase a loan facility from Are Media Holdco from $2.3 million to $4.8 million.

The Hannan family is a major shareholder in Ovato with approximately 43 per cent share in the business, while Are Media own an approximate 16.4 per cent share.

Next up for Ovato is another EGM on July 29, this time to determine the sale of the company’s marketing divisions to Ballygriffin Holdings, a Hannan family business.

The company also announced it would be closing its residential distribution business at the end of July. At the time of this announcement Ovato CEO James Hannan said the impact of COVID-19 had seen volumes across the company’s Australian residential distribution network fall sharply.

The significant company changes come after a tumultuous year for the printer last year which culminated in a NSW Supreme Court-approved recapitalisation and restructure scheme which saw over 300 employees made redundant and the company’s Melbourne print factory closed as part of its mission to right size.

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