Receivers called in to Geon Group

Last updated 16:49 21/02/2013

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Hundreds of jobs are at risk after printer Geon Group went into receivership with voluntary administrators appointed to the trans-Tasman company's New Zealand operations.

BusinessDay understands the more than 1000 staff in New Zealand and Australia have not yet been told whether the company will keep operating.

PPB Advisory have been appointed administrators but the future of the company lies with McGrath Nicol, who have been appointed receivers by US-based private equity firm KKR.

Geon prints catalogues and marketing material and does mailout campaigns.

The company's New Zealand arm is chaired by Sandy Maier, best known for his doomed "fix-it" role as chief executive of South Canterbury Finance.

Geon was formed in 2007 when Pacific Print Group and listed company Promentum merged. It was estimated to be worth $400 million at the time.

KKR and Australian-based private equity firm Allegro Funds have owned Geon Group for less than six months.

They bought it from Lloyds Banking Group as part of a portfolio of distressed loans worth $430m. 

They reportedly paid less than $6m for Geon and the right to receive an $100m loan from it in 2015. Geon was previously owned by Gresham Private Equity.

It appears patience has run out, with KKR appointing receivers yesterday afternoon.

A spokeswoman for PBB said a meeting of creditors would be held within eight business days, with details to be posted on the PBB website.

- with Sydney Morning Herald

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