Fairfax and APN agree to share NZ print facilities

Fairfax Media and APN News & Media New Zealand have announced a proposed agreement that would see APN provide printing services to Fairfax in New Zealand.

Under the deal, Fairfax would be provided printing services at APN’s Ellerslie facility in Auckland’s south for several of its New Zealand mastheads – the Waikato Times, Sunday Star-Times, Sunday News and other community papers.

Printing work currently being performed at Fairfax’s Auckland and Hamilton print sites would move across to the Ellerslie press within three months from August 2014.

Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood said the agreement made sense for the company and that sharing a print site with a competitor was not uncommon overseas.

“In this instance, we boost our print capability in the upper North Island market without the need for significant capital investment and gain significant benefits from the additional scale and efficiencies,” he said.

“Where it makes sense, we will continue to invest in print, as we did recently at our Petone facility located in the lower North Island of New Zealand.”

Recently, APN moved the printing of several of its New Zealand titles to the Ellerslie print site, following improvement to equipment at the site after significant investment was directed there as part of a $40 million publishing cost savings program.

APN chief executive Michael Miller said that conversations with Fairfax reflected mutual optimism about the ongoing viability of print and the critical role it played in communities.

“The arrangement with Fairfax allows APN to utilise spare capacity at our state-of-the-art Ellerslie facility and deliver further cost savings. We are on track to achieve our target of a further $20 million in cost savings across APN’s publishing businesses in 2014,” he said.

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