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6 ProPrint September 2014
Melbourne printer attacked by arsonist
Webstar boss Hay is
new Blue Star CEO
by Nic White
Sydney laminating company TLC Print
Finishing says it has become collateral
damage from the demise of Focus Press,
struggling to find a buyer and now locked
out of its facility.
Samantha Rogers, wife of TLC director
David Rogers, says she has been running
the business by herself for the past year and
debts of $175,000 from Focus put the nail
in the company's coffin.
"I was assured by David Fuller that I
would get paid, but then he went into liqui-
dation and we lost it all," she says.
Rogers says she saw the writing on the
wall about five months ago and put the
business up for sale.
While there have been many interested
buyers, a deal has not been made, with a
promising deal falling through in June.
Rogers says as money continued to run
out she ceased trading earlier this month to
stop mounting losses.
Rogers says the kit is now being sold via
used equipment dealers.
Nearby finishing businesses are picking
up jobs from TLC clients and its staff are
out looking for work or being snapped up
by rival firms.
Rogers says while staff wages are up to
date, their entitlements are waiting on a
sale of the business.
Goodman Australia, landlords for the
Blue Star has appointed its first chief exec-
utive in a major restructure that sees sev-
eral key executives promoted to positions
of greater responsibility as it pushes
towards further growth and industry
Managing director Geoff Selig will
become executive chairman and continue
as head of the business while Webstar boss
Warwick Hay will fill the group chief exec-
utive role, taking reports from all other
division heads as an extra layer of manage-
ment between Selig and day-to day
Hay has been with the company for five
years, mostly running the heatset web off-
set division in Australia and New Zealand.
Selig says Blue Star is fortunate to have
someone of Hay's calibre stepping into
such an important leadership role at this
time. "The business is placed to leverage
our market position over the years ahead as
we continue to further enhance and evolve
our already diversified offer," he says.
"I look forward to working closely with
Warwick and the broader leadership team
to pursue the group's strategic objectives."
Print and direct mail general manager
Matt Aitken moves up to chief operating
officer and will take responsibility for Blue
Star's manufacturing operations -- effec-
tively just adding Webstar to his portfolio.
Go to proprint.com.au
for news as it happens
by Nic White
A Melbourne printer was the target of a
failed arson attack when a hooded firebug
doused a pallet of magazines with petrol
and set it alight, but it failed to set the
Plakkit director Andrew McGregor says
a rivalprinter couldbe toblame asbusiness
was going 'too good', and Moreland police
say the attack looks to be 'one-off and pos-
The arsonist was caught on security
camera nosing around outside the
Brunswick facility of the poster and flyer
printer before making a clumsy attempt to
damage the building by setting the stock
The footage shows the culprit making
several bungled attempts to start the fire
before eventually setting a magazine alight
and throwing it onto the pallet.
However, neighbours managed to keep
the fire at bay until firefighters arrived to
extinguish it, limiting the damage to the
pallet and the stack of magazines and fly-
ers on it, at a cost of$10,000 to thebusiness
McGregor called the act 'gutless and silly',
saying the damage could have been a lot
worse if the fire had spread to a nearby van
with a full tank of petrol.
"It's essentially a residential area, which
is where it becomes brazen, silly, stupid,
dangerous," he told the local Moreland
"If someone wanted to communicate a
message, they should have left a note."
McGregor says he will install more secu-
rity cameras and roller door to beef up
security for his eight-year-old business,
which prints A0, A2, and A3 posters and
flyers for the Melbourne arts and enter-
tainment community and distributes them
to more than 200 bars, venues, stores,
cafes and retail outlets across the city.
unit in Silverwater's Slough Business Park
where TLC is based, have taken possession
of the factory and chained up the carpark
after rent was not paid.
Goodman's website already has the
property up for lease, with it due to be
cleared out in the next few weeks.
The lease holding company connected to
TLC, Print Employment Pty Ltd, is in
administration with documents lodged
with ASIC in May, while the equipment --
much of which is still inside -- is owned by
Mamers Investment Pty Ltd, of which
David Rogers is also the director.
This is the second time TLC has crashed
and burned, with its previous incarnation
liquidated in 2010 with debts of $1.2m,
only to pop up again almost immediately at
the same site with the same equipment
owned by Mamers.
TLC goes down, again, in Focus fallout
Caught in the act:
Arsonist tries to burn
down poster printer
Focus kit raises $3.5m
Focus Press equipment auctions have
raised about $3.5m to help pay back the
more than 200 trade creditors owed more
than $27.3m when the printer collapsed in
The auctions by GraysOnline saw two
weeks of furious bidding by rival firms
looking to pick up a variety of kit at bargain
prices from the wreckage of a once proud
The cash will pay exactly 77.7 per cent of
what Focus owes NAB, with everyone else
still waiting for their money.
The biggest sale was a 2005 Heidelberg
Speedmaster SM102 10-colour sheetfed
press, sold for $471,100 to a company based
in Croydon, VIC after a ferocious 90 min-
ute tussle with buyers from Brisbane and
Lidcombe, NSW that lasted until 5pm.
Focus Print Group managing director
Mark Shergill, who bought the Focus busi-
ness and made a deal for much of the kit
before it was scuttled by protracted nego-
tiations with liquidators and receiver man-
agers, was also involved in the final scrum
but bowed out.
Shergill did snag a 2007 Komori
Lithrone LS1040P 10-colour press at its
reser ve price of $455,00.
Gone again: Sign saying
the landlords have
taken over is visible on
door to TLC office
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