By Wayne Robinson | August 12, 2022

The Competition and Consumer Commission ACCC is asking that all submissions on IVE’s proposed takeover of Ovato be with it by next Thursday as the Commission seeks to make a decision on the proposed deal in record time.

IVE bids for Ovato: IVE CEO Matt Aitken

It also says industry participants should expect the timeline for its preliminary ruling date to be “considerably shorter” than the ACCC’s typical informal merger reviews.

The ACCC is processing the case in record time, as they are no doubt aware of Ovato’s perilous finances. He says he is conducting his investigation on a “truncated basis”.

The proposed deal would mean Australia would have just one major heatset printing player. Six years ago there were five; then AIW and Franklin were purchased by IVE, while PMP and IPMG merged, later becoming Ovato.

Specifically, ACC wishes to hear from parties who have an interest in any of the following:

  • whether catalog and magazine printing service customers require particular types of printing methods (e.g. heatset web offset printing) to produce printed materials tailored to their needs, including measurement where coldset web offset printing is a viable alternative
  • whether demand for catalog and magazine printing services has changed, including the extent to which clients are shifting from print materials to digital or online publications and marketing
  • the availability of other catalog and magazine printing service providers, and how the alternative compares to IVE and/or Ovato on factors such as price and quality
  • the extent to which providers of other printing services (for example, newspaper publishers) could print catalogs and magazines competitively
  • the likelihood of new entry or expansion into the supply of catalog and magazine printing services in Australia, including costs and timescales (e.g. in finding printing presses and staff)
  • what would happen to Ovato’s business/assets if the sale to IVE did not occur, and
  • any other competition issues relevant to the ACCC’s review of the proposed acquisition.