The millions changing hands as Ovato focuses on print and tech

Jun 08, 2021 at 01:30 pm by admin

James Hannan has moved to the top job at print-and-marketing giant Ovato following the departure of Kevin Slaven.

Ovato is selling its retail distribution business to Are Media – which is a shareholder in Ovato – for $15 million to enable it to focus on printing, its name being changed to Retail Distribution Australia & New Zealand and with Are also taking on the $27 million negative working capital. Ovato has also sold its marketing services business, this time to Hannan-owned entity Ballygriffin for $9 million.

Ovato chairman Michael Hannan said the business was bringing its focus back on print, “the core of its operations.

“It will allow focus to be placed on a strong, viable and profitable printing business in Australia, and the ability to invest in new technologies to support print.”

The RDMS sale will “greatly assist in providing Ovato with cash reserves for ongoing transformation, and will be the catalyst for a significant flattening of the corporate costs starting from the top with immediate savings being realised by not replacing any departing member of the leadership team.”

The company’s website records that James Hannan – who is the son of Michael Hannan – “played a pivotal role” in negotiations over Ovato’s 2020 recapitalisation and restructure of the business, which followed a deal to reduce employees’ entitlements and led to criticism of its use of the government’s Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme. Meanwhile, the Australian Financial Review reported last September that James Hannan (left) and his wife Laura had “traded up handsomely from their recently sold Double Bay home”, purchasing a residence in Sydney’s Bellevue Hill for $9.05 million.

Slaven (right) will remain with the company until the end of this month.

Sections: Print business


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