PPA wins bid for On Demand business

Production Printing Australia has triumphed in the bidding war for On Demand, beating out rival firms including Melbourne digital print PMI Imageworks.

Though receivers Ferrier Hodgson are yet to confirm the sale, sources involved in the process say PPA was given the green light late on Friday afternoon.

Ability Press managing director Michael Wu, who is the sole director of PPA and leads the consortium, tells ProPrint exclusively the deal is due to be officially signed late today. He says he will be in contact with suppliers in coming days.

PPA also includes former On Demand operations manager Con Maniatis, production manager Andrew Elia, and Tim Farrel formerly of Currie Group, PMI and FAB Equipment, as shareholders.

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The new company, created two months ago, had been trading as On Demand under a licencing agreement since Bruce Peddelsden’s company entered liquidation two weeks ago with debts of $11m.

Liquidators at Bent & Cougle say there is unlikely to be anything left over for trade creditors after largest creditor the National Australia Bank, owed $2.4m in secured loans, is paid off.

While rival bidder PMI was considered a strong contender, PPA likely had the edge in negotiations due to the presence of the former managers, and the Ability Press trade relationship with On Demand, that saw much offset work outsourced to Wu’s firm.

Ability Press is owed $127,000 by On Demand for these services, according to the creditors list.

PMI chief executive Chris Zapris says he is still not allowed to comment due to having signed a confidentiality agreement.

It is not yet clear whether On Demand will be maintained as a separate entity or consolidated into Ability Press, or how many of the staff will come on board.

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