There has been much talk in recent years about consolidation within the ink industry. Most of the discussion has been centered on the largest international ink manufacturers, but the only sizable acquisitions have been of medium-sized packaging ink manufacturers.
The April 25, 2013 announcement that Toyo Ink SC Holdings Co. acquired Arets International NV, the holding company of the Arets Group, a Niel, Belgian-based UV ink specialist, fits this trend well. The UV ink market has been one of the stronger performers in recent years, and Toyo Ink has long looked to expand its operations in Europe. This purchase allows Toyo Ink to achieve both goals.
Toyo Ink Group paid €9 million (1.17 billion yen, or $11.8 million) to obtain all the outstanding shares in Arets International NV, the holding company of the Arets Group. Arets, which was owned by its shareholders Next Invest NV and Fortis Private Equity Venture Belgium NV, had sales of €48,680,000 ($63.6 million) in 2012, although, after taxes, the company recorded a loss of €2,423,000 ($3,167,000).
According to a statement announcing the acquisition, Toyo Ink Group is focusing on globalization as its primary growth initiative, and has been making an effort to further improve the global brand of ink coating material products for the printing and information and packaging materials, its core products.
To do this, Toyo Ink Group is developing its supply chain by expanding sales and creating manufacturing bases in Asia and emerging economies, its growth area. The recent JV between Toyo Ink and Heubach to set up organic pigment plant at Ankleshwar, Gujarat, India would be an example of this.
Toyo Ink Group is also introducing new ways of using existing products and creating demand from product replacement with eco-friendly products in Japan and Western countries, its mature areas. UV-cured inks is well positioned for significant future growth.
The release noted that the Arets Group has established sales networks not only in Western countries, but also in a few dozen countries worldwide, as well as a lineup of products that can meet a diverse range of needs. With the acquisition of Arets, Toyo Ink expects to increase its UV ink sales from the current ¥15 billion ($150 million) to ¥30 billion ($300 million) within three years.