KBA is continuing its niche strategy with the majority takeover of Kammann Maschinenbau GmbH in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany. The world’s second-largest press manufacturer aims to expand into this growing market to counteract the shrinking sales volume of web presses for publications heavily affected by the advance of online media.
Kammann is the world market leader in screen printing systems for direct printing on glass containers. This challenging process is used mainly for luxury cosmetic packaging and beverage containers.
Koenig & Bauer takes over 85% of Kammann Maschinenbau GmbH. The previous majority shareholder, private equity firm Perusa in Munich, has successfully restructured and realigned this medium-sized press manufacturer over the last years. Kammann’s two managing directors will continue to hold a 15% stake. All parties have agreed not to disclose any further details concerning the takeover at this time. The acquisition is still subject to minor formal conditions.
Kammann mainly offers presses for decorating hollow containers made from premium-quality glass, plastic and metal. Along with screen printing, Kammann’s precise and flexible transport systems can also be equipped with hot-stamping, digital printing and decorating processes. The company also has a substantial service business. In systems for directly decorating glass containers Kammann is the global market leader. The firm, which has almost no own production facilities, was founded in 1955 and has a total of 175 employees. In 2012 it generated annual sales of more than €30m ($39m) and posted a net profit.
Directly decorated glass containers are mainly used for cosmetics, perfume and spirituous beverages in the top price class. Premium glass packaging is a growing business even in threshold countries, such as China, Brazil and Russia. It is regarded as a differentiation medium and is continually gaining importance as a status symbol compared to cheaper alternatives. Market forecasts predict above-average growth for this segment. From a process point of view, direct printing with high-quality screen printing systems is the most challenging and costly finishing method due to the mechanic handling of different forms of glass containers. These technological demands prevent newcomers from entering this luxury segment which is serviced by very few manufacturers. On supermarket shelves, directly decorated glass containers for premium perfume or beverage brands compete with more simply labelled containers for cheaper brands. These are often undervalued by customers looking for luxury goods. While direct printing of containers is a new territory for KBA, the group is already well-established in some areas of label printing and other packaging forms.