Watchdog clears path for IVE acquisitions

Consumer watchdog the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says it does not intend to block IVE’s proposed acquisition of catalogue printers Franklin Web and AIW Printing.

An ACCC spokesperson told ProPrint the group has no plans to hold a public review into the $116m deal, despite putting a microscope on fellow mega-merger between PMP and IPMG last month.

“The ACCC has considered the proposed transactions and decided that a public review will not need to be conducted,” it stated.

If both deals are given a green light, the large format web offset industry in Australia will shrink from five major players to only two. Both IVE and PMP attributed a difficult print market for the decision to consolidate and reduce competition drastically.

IVE’s takeover of Franklin Web and AIW is set to be effective on December 13. The ACCC’s findings on PMP and IPMG’s proposed merger will be released on December 22. It is unknown how the IVE deal will impact on the PMP IPMG merger, but PMP will be submitting that IVE is a powerful competitor.

[Related: IVE to acquire Franklin Web and AIW]

On announcing its plans to merge with two catalogue powerhouses, IVE entered into a trading halt in a bid to fund part of the deal with new issued shares.

Commenting on shareholder response to the acquisitions, IVE executive chairman Geoff Selig says, “We are delighted with the overwhelming response we have received from our existing institutional shareholders in support of the strategic acquisitions of Franklin Web and AIW printing and are pleased to welcome a number of new shareholders onto the IVE register.

The offer and placement were significantly oversubscribed which is a testament to the quality of the acquisitions and the track record of the IVE management team,” adds Selig.  

Shares closed at $2.055 the day of the news, reopening $2.140 this week in a 3.9 per cent jump.

IVE Group launched its IPO a little over a year ago at $2 apiece, and shares have steadily climbed since the public listing, reaching an all-time high in May at $2.26.

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