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Marketing and communications company IVE is celebrating a century in business, with what was The Link newspaper founded in 1921 by Oscar Selig, grandfather of current executive chairman Geoff Selig.  

Solid performance
Value proposition: Geoff Selig,
executive chairman, IVE Group

From its humble beginnings as a suburban newspaper in Balmain, NSW, the company began printing in the 1960s, and by the 1990s it had evolved into a $30m printing business based in nearby Smithfield. In the 30 years since it has been through turbocharged growth, acquiring, diversifying, and becoming the biggest player in the industry, with sales of $660m, and EBITDA of $100m in the last financial year.

It is a third-generation business, with Oscar succeeded by his son Gordon, who was in turn succeeded by his sons Geoff, Paul and Graham, with the former two on the current IVE Board.

The company launched onto the ASX six years ago, and three years later it bought both AIW and Franklin Web, to create a heatset powerhouse as they became part of its Webstar business, with a brand new highly automated $50m plant built in western Sydney to mirror the Melbourne Franklin site.

Diversification has been a key strategic goal in recent years, in addition to heatset web, the company is a major player in sheetfed, wide format and digital printing, and is currently looking at investing in packaging print.

The printing activities though form just part of its production and distribution operation, which along with creative services, data driven communication, and integrated marketing, are the four pillars of today’s business, which describes itself as a holistic marketing group.

Geoff Selig said, “The success of IVE over 100 years is something to be celebrated. Its present strength is due to the strategic decisions we made 30 years ago to diversify and expand the brand value, and that has resulted in a powerful value proposition today.”

Selig paid tribute to the staff, he said, “Stability has a hallmark of IVE, with the same family, and long- term staff, suppliers and clients. Our people are what makes the business.”

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