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Blue Star decision ‘too close for comfort’

10 August, 2011

Blue Star decision ‘too close for comfort’

The decision by Blue Star bondholders to accept a proposed refinancing deal by majority owner Champ Private Equity has been ‘too close for comfort’ for Blue Star workers, says the country’s largest private sector union.

Bondholders have voted to accept a restructuring plan that has meant them taking a significant loss on their $105 million investment, while Australian investor Champ adds $15 million in working capital on preferential terms.

Champ’s threat to put the company into the hands of receivers had also put workers’ jobs and redundancy payments at risk.

‘Champ’s attitude has been outrageous,’ says EPMU national industry organiser Louisa Jones. ‘Their take-it-or-leave-it approach to bondholders has also shown a complete disregard for workers’ livelihoods.’

‘This kind of brinkmanship is not what we expect from responsible business owners in New Zealand. Is this really how we want our businesses to operate?’ Blue Star is a trans-Tasman communications group including sheetfed, digital and web printing, print management, direct mail and national logistics operations. The group operates eight printing and packaging plants in New Zealand, and 266 of its employees are covered by the EPMU.

ENDS

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