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Printing royalty rocked up to the Waterview in Homebush this week as Spicers officially launched itself under new owners Kokusai Pulp & Paper (KPP).

Some of the country’s leading commercial and wide format printers were invited to join Spicers and KPP as they broke the Sake Barrel, in a traditional Japanese ritual to mark a new beginning.

Speaking to Print21 & PKN at the event Spicers CEO David Martin said, ”We wanted to bring together the Spicers leaders from across Australia and New Zealand, with customers, and the KPP people. Tonight is about being together. We are all aiming for the same goal. We have great respect for our customers, and want to thank them for their support. We want to introduce the KPP people, the customers and the Spicers leaders to each other.”

Spicers CEO David Martin presenting paper artwork to KPP president Madoka Tanabe 
Spicers CEO David Martin presenting paper artwork to KPP president Madoka Tanabe

Some eight KPP top brass made the trip to Sydney, with president Madoka Tanabe presented with a commemorative artwork made in paper by CEO David Martin.

Speaking to the assembled guests Martin said, “Spicers is about creating solutions. Tonight’s event will show how much change we have been through, and in recent times how increasingly positive that change has been.

“Spicers is 154 years old. We are now in a new venture, under the KPP ownership, which everyone is excited about, and which will be beneficial for the Australian and New Zealand print industries.”

Printers speaking to Print21 & PKN at the event were all appreciative of the work by Martin and his team in the last three years to set the company on its current course, and to be able to provide them with supply, consistency and service.

Tanabe-san said, “We at KPP aim to expand throughout the Asia Pacific. Spicers will now be one cohesive organisation with finance and management working as one, which will create a stronger business. We look forward to working with you all.”

Guests at the event enjoyed Sake from the barrel, served in traditional Japanese boxes. Tradition has it that those who crack the barrel – Martin, Tanabe, Spicers finance director Damien Power, and KPP general manager Yasayuki Sakata – are not allowed to leave the room until the last of the Sake has been consumed.

Crack the Saki barrel: (l-r) Yasuyuki Sakata, Madoka Tanabe, David Martin and Damien Power 
Crack the Sake barrel: (l-r) Yasuyuki Sakata, Madoka Tanabe, David Martin and Damien Power

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