Pegasus buys SOS Print + Media

Pegasus Print Group owner AAB Holdings is buying SOS Print + Media, combining the two into a $100m a year business.

SOS Print + Media will continue to operate as a stand-alone operation from its expansive facilities in Alexandria, adding to AAB Holdings’ capabilities as a leading service and technology provider. Pegasus is based on the other side of the city in Blacktown.

AAB which also owns AB Warehouse & Logistics, and F&M Supplies, is looking at further growth opportunities, and is targeting a $150m sales figure next year, with some of that figure likely to come from additional purchases.

Industry insiders say Pegasus was not the only printer looking to acquire SOS, with another major group thought to be in the box seat just a few weeks ago, but ultimately Pegasus triumphed.

Wayne Finkelde, chief executive officer, AAB Holdings says, “We are delighted to have SOS Print + Media join the AAB family, extending a warm welcome to management, staff and customers. Like Pegasus Print Group, SOS Print + Media is renowned for its service in delivering quality, innovation and value-added marketing offerings.

“The operation is a great fit alongside our print manufacturing, supplies and logistics divisions. We will continue to service some of Australia’s pharmaceutical, manufacturing, retail, FMCG, finance, educational brands and other vertical segments, with some exciting opportunities on the horizon.

“Having multiple print production facilities across both sides of Sydney allows us to provide our customers with the benefit of a wider range of services, making us a leading marketing communications company. Following this acquisition AAB Holdings forecast for next financial year will be in excess of $100m  turnover and positions AAB well on its way to achieve its target revenue of $150m within the following year, with a number of discussions being held on further growth plans.”

Michael Peel, director, SOS Print + Media says, “Together with my business partners Bob Gardner and Andy von Faber-Castell, we have managed to build a solid and highly regarded business within the industry, developing long term relationships with suppliers, customers and our dedicated staff along the journey. We are fortunate to be able to pass our legacy onto the AAB Holdings group of companies. We saw AAB as a natural and obvious partner, knowing their business model will provide job security and sustainability for our staff over the long term.”

Details on the practicalities have yet to be revealed, including the make-up of the senior management team. Pegasus is run by long time CEO Wayne Finkelde. SOS Print + Media is owned by the directors; chairman Bob Gardiner, with Michael Peel and Andreas von Faber-Castell. Gardiner has been struggling with a serious health issue for the past two years.

The deal is the biggest industry merger of the year, and continues the wave of industry consolidation that has seen both printers and suppliers merge as the industry continues to recalibrate, just last week two major Brisbane printers merged when Printcraft bought Fergies.

Pegasus started life as the original Woolworths printer and was owned by the grocery giant. In its current iteration since 2000 it has more than 200 staff working in offset, digital and wide format printing, as well as web2print, local area marketing, digital asset management, campaign management, creative services, promotional kitting, fulfilment, mail-house services, EDM and multi-channel marketing, third party logistics, warehousing and distribution.

SOS was founded in 1976 and has since grown to a communications company employing more than 120 people. Turnover for SOS Sydney is approximately $30m, with a growth of 6 per cent in FY 2015/6. SOS was one of the largest independently owned printing companies in New South Wales.

It offers offset printing; digital printing; finishing and binding; warehousing and distribution and pre-media and IT services in house. It is known for implementing a range of new technologies.

The Pegasus SOS deal is the latest in a strong trend that is occurring at every level in the industry; it comes a year after PMP and IPMG merged, and 18 months after IVE acquired Franklin and AIW. The past 12 months have also seen a spate of mergers on the supply side with paper merchants BJ Ball and KW Doggett, web manufacturers manroland and Goss, finishing solutions developers Muller Martini and Kolbus all merging, and digital developer Fujifilm buying Xerox.

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