End of line for Rooster as Southern buys assets

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In a major Melbourne print industry consolidation, Southern Colour is buying Naresh Gulati’s Rooster IMC, creating one of the country’s biggest print businesses.

Excited by the opportunties: Rod Dawson, managing director, Southern Colour
Excited by the opportunties: Rod Dawson, managing director, Southern Colour

The deal is essentially an asset sale, which sees Southern take over the Rooster lease in Mount Waverley and take Rooster plant and equipment.

Southern will move all four of its current production sites into the 7000sqm Rooster building in Mount Waverley. It will keep Rooster's Heidelberg UV XL 106, some of the digital kit, and some of the finishing kit.  

Rod Dawson, managing director of Southern Colour said, “I am excited to announce that Southern Colour has taken over the operations of Rooster IMC, effective from Monday 21 October.”

Dawson said, “Most of our businesses are currently needing additional space to accommodate growth. This opportunity will provide us with the space we need to continue to grow in our traditional and emerging markets, as well as entering new sectors of our industry." Southern had been looking at leasing an extra warehouse to accommodate its growing pick 'n' pack and logistics activities.

End of print project: Naresh Gulati
End of print project: Naresh Gulati

For entrepreneur Naresh Gulati, the deal marks the end of his print project. He created Rooster IMC over a couple of years 2014-2015 when he bought and stitched together several print related businesses, notably BPO, OCA, Print Bound, and finishing house The Bindery. He invested heavily in new offset, digital, and wide format presses, and invited the industry to use Rooster as a one-stop trade house.

The full transition for Southern Colour into the Mount Waverley site is looking to be completed by the end of the March quarter next year. Dawson said, “Southern Colour, Impact Digital and Intelligent Media will be branded and operational as Southern Impact by FY 20/21. The label and packaging business will also be on site, but will remain branded as Onpack, as we continue the amazing progress this business has made since being launched in 2016.

“As in the past with our Group, continued investment in technology and gaining operational efficiencies will deliver a powerful manufacturing site for years to come. We believe that this is a great outcome for staff, customers and our suppliers.

“We have a number of Rooster staff that have joined the Southern Colour team, and we look forward to working with them and our new customers to share the exciting news of this transition.”

GIven the building's long history in print, and the mixed fortunes of some of its occupants – Geon was its most famous tenant – Dawson quipped to Print21 that he had told the staff, "It's not Court No 3 at Wimbledon."

The deal means Marvel Binding will have the only trade perfect binding system in Melbourne.

Self made man Gulati first showed his business acumen in the education sector. He will retain BPO his education business and will remain a substantial print buyer, whihc is how he become interested in print.

Gulati businesses M/s Nine Investments and OCA Group had a combined loss of $ 2.1m in the year 2016, $1.6m in 2015 and $8.1m in 2014. At at the end of June 2016, M/s Nine Investments had total assets of $18.1m, and total liabilities of $19.5m. He has spent much of the past three years back in India engaged in a lengthy divorce battle with his ex-wife.

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