North Shore-based printer Benefitz has sold its significant interest in publishing business Mediaweb to major shareholder Toni Myers after managing director Aidan Bennett decided it was time to move away from offset printing and focus on some of the other, more exciting aspects of the business.
Benefitz had 490 of the 1000 shares in Mediaweb, the company established to purchase a number of the titles from the receivers of 3Media back in mid-2009, including Management, Admedia, FMCG and NZ Marketing, which was purchased by HB Media, now Tangible.
3Media was formed in 2007 after Review Publishing, Profile Publishing and Marketplace Press merged.
Mediaweb announced in March that it had purchased the publications and assets of fellow B2B publisher TPL Media, but Benefitz was not involved in this purchase.
"With the purchase of TPL Media, and all the extra titles, they quite obviously need the resources of a printer that is more specialised in magazine printing... To be honest, we didn't want to continue to move down the track of printing magazines. We were set up to do a handful of titles. But we had reservations about the whole thing going forward. Our business is a lot more diverse than that."
Bennett says it is still printing Fastline at the moment, but he believes PMP has been given the contract for the magazines, which, after the TPL deal, now includes Hospitality, Travel Trade, Local Government and associated titles, directories and supplements. he says there was nothing acrimonious about the sale of shares.
"When we got into it we thought it was an area of our business we'd like to grow and [by buying in to Mediaweb] we added some printing to our operation, but having been down the track for the past 18 months, we decided it wasn't somewhere we wanted to keep going. Offset printing is a dying industry and we're not going to invest anything more in it."
Bennett says Benefitz, which employs 70 people and also focuses on digital printing, large format digital printing, signage, display and graphic and web design, has also had some great success with establishing Channel Magazine on the North Shore over the past 12 months so the company is focusing its efforts on this and the wide range of other services that make up our successful business."