Art Deco Trust confident Geon will fulfil obligations

By DOUG LAING

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The Art Deco Trust in Napier has been given an assurance that major sponsor Geon will remain involved in Art Deco Weekend next year, despite an announcement in Sydney that the trans-Tasman print group is in receivership.

The sponsorship has been in place since Napier print firm Brebner Print was named major sponsor in 1987.

The event became known as the Geon Art Deco Weekend in 2008.

Trust general manager Sally Jackson said a consultant involved with the company advised her of the situation yesterday, with an assurance that the current three-year contract to the 2014 event would be met.

With the receivership part of a plan to stop Geon going into liquidation, she said: "You'd like to think it's business as usual, and the ship will soon be going in the right direction."

A spokesperson for the Napier plant in Taradale Rd was not available last night, but reports said the group employs 390 people in New Zealand.

The receivership has been ordered by US investor KKR Capstone and Sydney-based fund manager Allegro, which together acquired the company and debt last week.

A report said attempts would be made to sell the group as a going concern, the partnership KKR already making an offer to buy it back. In a statement to employees, Geon chief executive Graham Morgan said in Australia KKR would commit substantial resources to make GEON successful again, if it was still involved.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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