Ovato shares in trading halt

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Shares in major heatset printer Ovato are in a trading halt, after they jumped by 81 per cent in morning trade. No reason has yet been given, nor any further details.

 Happier times: Michael Hannan and Kevin Slaven opening the Ovato supersite in Warwick Farm in December

Ovato has responded to the halt and to a request for information from the ASX Listings Compliance senior advisor by saying it does not know why the shares suddenly jumped.

Ovato shares have plunged since the threat of the virus impacted Australian business, at the end of February they were on the rise, hitting 6c, since then they have fallen to less than 1c where they tracked for most of April, before today's dramatic uptick.

The heatset printer is facing choppy waters as its major magazine client Bauer struggles with a plunge in advertising, which has caused it to shelve several major magazines including Elle, NW, Harper's Bazaar and OK!. Bauer is also about to merge with Pacific Magazines, whose portfolio is printed by Ovato's arch-rival IVE.

In New Zealand, Bauer has closed its business, although its printing there was done by the Tom Sturgess Blue Star operation.

More to come on this story.

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