Ovato’s packaging business gets bought by Platypus Print

Queensland-based Platypus Print Packaging has purchased the packaging business of troubled catalogue and magazine printer, Ovato.

The move comes following the entire business of Ovato entering into voluntary administration in July with its administrators, FTI Consulting, issuing a call for Expressions of Interest to make a bid for Ovato, or parts of it.

In August, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) approved IVE Group’s proposed $16 million acquisition of parts of Ovato, which didn’t include its New Zealand businesses, nor its packaging business in Brisbane or its printing operation in Cairns.

Earlier this month, IVE Group completed its acquisition.

A spokesperson for FTI Consulting, confirmed with ProPack.pro that a sale agreement with Platypus Print Packaging has been signed, but the terms and conditions of the sale remain confidential.

Platypus Print Packaging general manager Aaron Lusch told ProPack.pro that the company purchased Ovato’s packaging unit to further build on its business.

“Ovato packaging is a good business that has had the challenge of being a small unit within a much larger company. The business purchase decision was favourable due to it having some good equipment, highly skilled staff and customers in industries where we have less of a presence,” he said.

Lusch confirmed that Ovato’s packaging business will soon come under and be branded as Platypus Print Packaging. 

As the Ovato packaging unit is in Queensland, it will continue to operate from the existing site in the short-term with key equipment being moved to the Platypus site in December 2022 and January 2023. 

“All the plant and equipment owned by the Ovato packaging business will be sold to Platypus under the terms of sale. We plan to retain most of the equipment except where the cost to get the equipment up to our standards is excessive,” Lusch said.

“Platypus will also be engaging the Ovato packaging staff over the coming days. The Ovato packaging business has some of the most skilled tradespeople in the industry so we will be looking at various ways to retain these skills where we can.”

According to Lusch, having the Ovato unit under the Platypus banner will increase its folding carton manufacturing capacity and allow it to realise the synergies of the two businesses.

“Platypus’ focus is folding carton manufacturing and so we expect to unlock the full potential of the Ovato packaging business by combining the strengths of the two businesses,” he said.

“The Ovato packaging business has had some manufacturing constraints over the past couple of months and so there is a backlog of work for us to get through. Once we do, we expect it to be business as usual for customers, suppliers, and staff.”

Platypus Print Packaging is celebrating 40 years in business this year and the company mentioned in June that it has committed to investing over $8 million in plant and equipment over the next year.

The company was also the first Australian operator to buy a Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 X in September last year.

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