Bertil Ahlberb, marketing director of ANI Printing Inks, expects the ANI brand to be retained and local representation to continue unchanged.
“As ANI so far has worked in the niche market of narrow web printing, where BASF Printing Systems has a limited presence, there won’t be any immediate effect on product range,” he says.
The European Commission approved CVC’s proposed acquisition and merger of BASF PS and ANI on October 29 after their investigations showed the transactions would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Union. Closing date for the acquisition was scheduled for 30 November 2004.
The new company, which is still to be named, will be headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, with former president of ANI, Peter Koivula, heading up a new management team. There will be six divisions – narrow web; packaging inks; printing plates; publication inks; sheetfed offset; and pigments & resins. The company will have 65 fully-owned subsidiaries in 30 countries and a network of distributors covering another 50 countries.
“Through this combination of two well known ink suppliers we have not only created a leading European company that can service the demanding expectations of our customers, but also a global supplier of complete printing system solutions that can offer better products and services for the graphics and packaging industry,” says future CEO,
The merger with Swedish printing inks manufacturer ANI should enable the printing system business to emerge as a leading international supplier in the industry. Its ink product portfolio and regional coverage complement BASF’s printing inks operations.
A management-buy-out, financed by CVC funds, has created the largest European-owned printing systems’ supplier in the world market and in turnover terms, make it the second largest in Europe and third largest worldwide.
“The management’s financial involvement in the buy-out also strengthens the commitments and feelings of ownership that will help the company better exploit opportunities that arise in an increasingly globalised and competitive market,” explains Koivula.
For Christian Wildmoser, managing director of CVC, the merger represents a ‘decisive contribution’ of consolidation in an industry that is fragmented.
“As a result of the acquisition, BASF Printing Systems will become a core business and the merger with ANI will ensure that in the future a leading printing systems’ business will not only be able to maintain its market position, but expand it further,” he explains.
CVC Capital Partners is an independent private equity provider in the UK and Europe and specialises in large scale leveraged buy-outs. Founded in 1981 as Citicorp’s European private equity arm, it became independent in 1993.
The BASF sale covers the company’s printing inks and printing plates operations, including pigment production in Shanghai, and alkali blue ink production at Huntington, West Virginia.
BASF has been in the printing plate business since 1965. It acquired K+E Inks in 1970 introducing printing inks to the group. BASF Printing Systems was founded in 1997.