Online Exclusives

A Look at the Ink Industry at the Halfway Point of 2012

By David Savastano, Ink World Editor | 07.12.12

In recent years, there has been movement in the ink industry in terms of mergers and acquisitions and major capital investments. So far, though, 2012 has been relatively quiet in terms of expenditures, although there are plenty of rumors floating around, though sorting those out seems next to impossible.

If you think about it, there have only been two mergers and acquisitions/joint ventures of note. In June, Suzhou Kingswood Printing Inks acquired Brancher Company, headquartered in Tremblay-les-Villages, France. Suzhou Kingswood Printing Inks is the leading conventional offset printing ink manufacturer in China, and the acquisition of Brancher adds both new products (UV and liquid inks as well as specialty inks for packaging) as well as a larger European presence for Suzhou Kingswood Printing Inks.

In March, Sun Chemical and the Druckfarben Hellas Group announced the merger of their publications divisions in the South Eastern Europe region. Five new legal entities, Sun Chemical Publication Bulgaria, Sun Chemical Croatia, Sun Chemical Publication Greece, Sun Chemical Publication Romania and Sun Chemical Publication Serbia, will operate under the joint venture, and will service Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and Moldova. This allows both companies to strengthen their technical service and product portfolio in this growing region.

Outside of inks, Sun Chemical and its parent company, DIC, announced in June that it reached a definitive agreement to purchase Benda-Lutz Werke GmbH, a manufacturer of metallic effect products based in Austria.

By acquiring Benda-Lutz, Sun Chemical is forming a new global Metallics Business Unit as part of Sun Chemical’s Performance Pigments Division, and adding production facilities in Austria, Poland, Russia and the U.S. to accompany its aluminum pigment manufacturing site in China.

There haven’t been a lot of reports about new production facilities or branches, although that probably has more to do with the overcapacity within the industry. In February, INX International UK Ltd. held a ground breaking ceremony for its new 40,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Heywood, England. The new facility, which is 75% larger than the present facility in Rochdale, UK, is expected to be completed by 2013. In June, Wikoff Color announced the opening of a new branch in Sacramento, CA, to service customers on the West Coast.

In June, Sun Chemical opened its a CAD $3.1 million, 50,000 square foot state-of-the-art ink manufacturing plant in Laval, near Montreal. This allows the company to upgrade its local facilities as well as consolidate four manufacturing plants, which will help reduce costs.