Industry News

Flint Ink and XSYS Print Solutions Transaction Completed

Published on 2005-10-05. Author : SpecialChem

Ann Arbor, MI, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt -- The acquisition of U.S.-based Flint Ink Corporation by German-based XSYS Print Solutions was completed on 30 September 2005. The transaction closed following the August approval of the acquisition and subsequent merger by regulatory authorities in Europe and the U.S. The merger will lead to creation of a stronger, global supplier to the graphics and packaging industries with revenues of about $2.6 billion/€ 2.1 billion (based on 2004 results). The new entity will have approximately 8,000 employees in 160 sites in 35 countries, and will rank as the number one or number two supplier in every major region it serves.

XSYS Print Solutions was formed at the end of 2004 through the merger of BASF Printing Systems and ANI Printing Inks, following their respective acquisitions by funds advised by CVC Capital Partners (CVC), a leading independent private equity firm.

Founded in Detroit, MI, in 1920 by the Flint family, Flint Ink was previously the world’s largest privately-owned ink manufacturer. Flint-Schmidt, the company’s European group, was created by the merger of Flint Ink Europe and Druckfarbenfabrik Gebr. Schmidt GmbH in 2002.

The Flint Ink/XSYS merger includes all facilities and activities of the two businesses, including inks for publication, packaging, news, commercial and narrow web applications; printing plates; pigments, dispersions and resins; and digital and other emerging business units.

An experienced integration team representing both companies will ensure that the integration process, which has already started, is completed as soon as possible. The process of finding a new name for the combined company is underway.

Dave Frescoln, CEO of Flint Ink, who has been named CEO of the combined company, commented on the future of the new organization: “The printing ink industry has remained fragmented at a time when our customers have expanded geographically to increase market reach while consolidating production to strengthen their market positions. Having the necessary size and reach to meet the demands of these global customers is absolutely critical if we are to remain a strong competitor in the future. By realizing the synergies of complementary product portfolios, regional representation, unsurpassed technical talent and a strong management team, the new company is well positioned to meet the continuing challenges of customer demands in a rapidly changing, worldwide market place.”

Leadership Appointments

In addition to Dave Frescoln, the following individuals have received appointments to positions in the new organization:

  • Howard Poulson, non-executive chairman of XSYS, will serve in the same role on the new board of directors.
  • Peter Koivula, previously CEO of XSYS Print Solutions, will become vice chairman with special responsibilities for strategic matters and for relationships with major customers at a senior level.
  • Mike Gannon, CFO of Flint Ink, will be COO of the new company.
  • Mike Bissell, will be Executive Financial Officer of the new company.

The following leadership positions have been announced for the five regional operating groups: Dr. Helmut Schmidt in Europe; Bill Miller in North America; Jerko Rendic in Latin America, Damian Johnson in India/Pacific; and Henry Leong in Asia.

In addition, four global business units will be led by the following: Dr. Thomas Telser, printing plates; Ewald Draaijer, narrow web inks; Dr. Frank Scherhag, pigments and resins; and Dr. Kenneth Stack, Jetrion LLC (digital inks, equipment and integration).

Other new operating leadership appointments include:

  • Craig Foster, vice president and general manager of the global pigment and resins group
  • Dr. Dirk Aulbert, general manager of the Sheetfed Division Europe
  • Doug Aldred, general manager of the Liquid Packaging Division Europe
  • Wolfgang Blumschein, general manager of the Publication Division Europe (Heatset and Publication Gravure)
  • Tony Lord, general manager of the Coldset Division Europe
  • Dr. Roland Rusch, deputy general manager of the Coldset Division Europe
  • Dr. Stefan Wegener, vice president of operations Europe, responsible for the Integration, for QHSE (Quality, Health, Safety, Environment) and for CIP (Continuous Improvement Processes)

Divisional assignments within North America, Latin America, India/Pacific and Asia will remain unchanged.

XSYS/Flint Ink

Flint Ink, Flint-Schmidt and XSYS Print Solutions will now operate worldwide as a single company. The new group develops, produces, and markets printing inks, printing plates, and pigments/resins for the graphics, packaging, and colorants industries. Headquartered in Luxembourg and Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, the corporation’s main printing ink business is organized into regional units in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, and India/Pacific, with global business units for printing plates, narrow web printing inks, digital inks and equipment (through Jetrion LLC), and pigments and resins. Together, the group operates more than 160 facilities worldwide, employs approximately 8,000 people, and had sales for 2004 of about US $2.6 billion (€2.1 billion).

Source: Flint Ink

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