Online Exclusives

Flint Group IPO is Rumored

By David Savastano, Ink World Editor | 02.03.10

Flint Group, the world’s second-largest printing ink manufacturer, is reportedly preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) later this year, according to a Jan. 26, 2010 article by Financial Times Deutschland that was also reported by Reuters. These articles follow a report by Bloomberg in December 2009. The reports add that CVC Capital Partners, the private equity company that owns Flint Group, has commissioned Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley to prepare the IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

The idea of initiating an IPO for an ink manufacturer is new for the ink industry, and, if it comes to fruition, it will occur in the midst of challenging economic conditions.

Flint Group has total sales of €2.4 billion (US$ 3.5 billion) in 2008, and employs more than 7,800 people. The company operates more than 140 facilities globally.

In response to the news reports, Flint Group issued the following statement:

"Flint Group is owned by CVC Capital Partners, a private equity company that focuses on building businesses over the long-term. Flint Group has become the leading provider of printing consumables solutions to the packaging and print media industries around the world, due to the breadth of its product portfolio and unique service model.

“It is the intention of CVC and the management of Flint Group to further develop the business globally and therefore pursue a strategy which is in the best interest of Flint Group in operational, strategic and therefore financial terms. CVC naturally reviews all of its investments on a regular basis and examines all options for exits. Even though Flint Group has no operational need for additional financing, the management is in regular contact with the banking community regarding financing structures and is currently revising and optimizing its financing."

Flint Group was formed in 2005 by CVC Capital Partners. In 2004, CVC acquired BASF Printing Systems and ANI Printing Inks, previously Akzo Nobel Inks, and formed XSYS Print Solutions. In 2005, CVC added Flint Ink, the second-largest global ink manufacturer, and combined its ink holdings into Flint Group. There have been a series of acquisitions since then, most notably Day International, a global leader in printing blankets, sleeves, pressroom chemicals and printing supplies, which was brought on in 2007. In 2008, Flint Group added Siegwerk’s packaging ink business in Australia and New Zealand.