Pettaras sale sparks move into wide format
High profile print identity Theo Pettaras has sold his Digitalpress business to marcomm services outfit Bridgestone Investments in a strategic move, which will also see it enter wide format production.
Following a three month handover period Pettaras intends to stay on to run the business, as it moves into the marketing communications space.
The move will see Digitalpress access the Bridgestone facilities in North Sydney as a creative hub and sales centre. Digitalpress will enter the wide format market with a new Fujifilm printer and Kongsberg cutter. An HP Indigo 7r digital colour press will also be added to the Digitalpress firepower. Alll the new equipment will go into the Digitalpress Waterloo site, which already houses a Fuji Xerox Iridesse among its other kit.
Bridgestone Investments is a private equity fund focused on the marketing communications sector in Australian and Malaysia, and is currently expanding into Thailand and Indonesia. It has bought Digitalpress through its National Print Express subsidiary.
In Australia Bridgestone owns Horizon Print Management, a 19-year-old print broker, Indigo Print, a boutique commercial printer based in Walker St in North Sydney, and Copiworld, also based in North Sydney. Bridgestone CEO is Jahangir Khan, a Law graduate of Western Sydney Uni.
Speaking to Print21 Theo Pettaras said, “I wanted to move Digitalpress to become a marketing solutions provider. It is all about relevance. I didn’t need to sell, but the opportunity came with Bridgestone, which is a progressive operation, that recognises the importance of print.
“They felt the profile of Digitalpress would be beneficial to them, as would the knowledge and experience of my staff. It is a win-win, which for me means I can focus more on sales and marketing and less on the day to day tasks of the typical small business owner.
“There is a three month handover period but I fully intend to stay with the business and help drive its future development.”
Welcoming the acquisition Khan said he was “excited about the prospect of working with a prominent industry leader in Theo Pettaras as well as adding a highly skilled multi award-winning team to our portfolio of companies.”
He said, “Digitalpress will bolster our digital print production capabilities and conversely ensure a wider array of quality products and solutions for its customers with our ever-expanding suite of digital businesses”.
In a letter to customers Pettaras said, “Since inception I have been fortunate to be a part of the successes of Digitalpress and feel blessed that today I continue into its future. Working as a senior member of the group my role will focus on continued growth of the business by enhancing existing relationships and forging new ones.
“We are determined that this chapter charts new horizons for our beloved brand with the addition of high-quality equipment, a wider range of services and increased geographic footprint which keep to our unwavering commitment towards our customers.”
Pettaras established Digitalpress 15 years ago, starting out as a boutique retail print shop and becoming a nationally recognised multi-award winning commercial print business, which always sought to offer more to its customers.
Pettaras himself is well known in the industry, partly through his award-winning print, and partly through his ongoing charity work with initiatives such as celebrity cookbook Dish, and pub rock concerts for various causes.
He is currently on the board of the Print & Visual Communication Association, and is also known for being open about his own life story.