Lamson Paragon buys Gippsland Trade Printers

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Victorian trade forms and systems printer Gippsland Trade Printers has been sold to Lamson Paragon Group.

Selling up: Peter Ceeney (right) and Troy Judkins, directors, Gippsland Trade Printers. (Images: Gippsland Trade Printers)
Selling up: Peter Ceeney (right) and Troy Judkins, directors, Gippsland Trade Printers

The sale for an undisclosed sum will see Lamson Paragon take over Churchill-based Gippsland’s branding, goodwill, and customer base.

Equipment including five offset web presses, as well as offset sheetfed presses, guillotines, and finishing equipment, will be sold.

Ten staff have already left, with a further two possibly departing in a month; this includes the two directors, Troy Judkins and Peter Ceeney.

According to Ceeney, the sale was a result of declining demand for paper-based forms and systems, with many moving online.

“We mainly print NCR books and pads, continuous laser cheques, that general area. Enough of that’s gone digital to say that we couldn’t see a future for us beyond late next year at our size.

“Lamson has similar equipment to ours, and has capacity. The extra sales for them will fill up their capacity a bit better.

“Paper-based forms and systems have dropped so much, our market’s just falling away. We felt that now was the time for us, while we still had something that was saleable,” he said.

Judkins and Ceeney will get out of print to move into new areas folloing the sale. Ceeney said, “We’d like to thank our clients and the industry for all their support over the years. We’d also like to think Rodney and Arthur from Lamson for making the transition easy and smooth. It’s an emotional time for us, and they’ve not made it too hard at all.

“Troy and I have both been in the business for a long time, so doing something different will be interesting."

Rodney Frost, Lamson Paragon.
Natural fit: Rodney Frost, CEO Lamson Paragon

Rodney Frost, CEO of Lamson Paragon Group, told Print21 that the company would continue using the Gippsland Trade Printers brand as part of the Lamson Paragon network.

“The business is a natural fit for our existing partners and our group, it helps expand us into another area of the market that we’re in.

“The guys have done a great job building that brand, and we want to carry it forward as well. We see ourselves as the custodians of that brand, and we don’t want to see it disappear,” he said.

Though work for Gippsland customers will now be produced in Sydney, Frost does not anticipate any impact on service.

“Our capacity is extensive for larger-run work, so we anticipate it being quicker, and with our digital equipment, we’ll also be about the same or quicker on short to medium runs. There’s next-day delivery from Sydney to Melbourne in any case, so there should be no change with this product mix,” he said.

Frost congratulated Ceeney and Judkins on running a successful business for many years.

“They made the decision to do something else with their lives, the staff have been looked after, so all credit to them with the way they’ve gone about it. They’ve been fantastic, perfect gentlemen, and we can’t thank them enough for the work they’ve done. We wish them and the team all the best,” he said.

Gippsland has operated in various forms since the 1890s, with the trade print business beginning around 30 years ago.

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