Three Melbourne printers in $50m mega merger

Three prominent Melbourne printers have just agreed to a huge consolidation forming a $50m turnover full-service company by September.

According to multiple sources with intimate knowledge of the deal, Ability Press and Docklands Press will buy Mercedes Waratah and M&M Binders and move into their Port Melbourne facility.

The Todisco family, who own Mercedes Waratah and M&M Binders, today confirmed the heads of agreement was signed last night.

"It is clear from evidence around the world that consolidation is a key way forward to ensure the ongoing strength of print companies and of the industry in general," they say.

[Related: More mergers and acquisitions]

However, they declined to comment on the details of the agreement, such as financing and future management, as it is yet to be finalised, but say the family will exit the print industry to 'concentrate on other interests'.

Docklands director Moody Aboughattas and Ability managing director Michael Wu will run the company but are still discussing management structure and other fine details.

The deal also includes On Demand, owned by Wu, bringing a huge inventory of digital machines to the new company. Mercedes Waratah's Tasmanian business is not included, but is said to be up for sale.

The sources say in addition to the unknown sale price of the two companies and all assets, about $2.6m will be spent paying off two bank-financed Heidelberg offset presses at Mercedes Waratah.

The plan is for all the companies to be under one roof by September and the only pieces of kit possibly moving across are a recently-bought Komori 40-inch offset press and a folder at Docklands.

More updates as information becomes available.

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