Up until the last month or so, there has not been a lot of merger and acquisition activity within the ink industry during the past year. Any activity has been focused on growth markets such as South America or in the packaging sector.
The news that American Inks and Coatings (AIC) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Color Resolutions International (CRI) through an asset purchase arrangement fits the packaging category.
The merger, which is expected to be completed by Jan. 30, 2014, combines two of Ink World magazine’s 2013 Top 20 North American ink companies. Headquartered in Pine Bluff, AR, AIC is the 13th largest North American ink manufacturer, with sales of $85 million in ink and coatings in 2012. CRI, located in Fairfield, OH, was the 19th largest North American ink company, with estimated sales of $55 million in 2012. AIC had 217 employees in 2012, while CRI had 127 employees
Both companies are exclusively packaging, although their core markets don’t necessarily overlap. AIC is a flexible packaging specialist, focusing on water- and solvent-based flexo and gravure inks and coatings as well as UV and EB coatings, and also has a leadership position in multi-wall bags and gift wrap segments.
CRI is largely focused on the corrugated printing market, and entered the flexible packaging field. CRI also made inroads into the Latin America segment, opening Color Resolutions de Mexico. AIC has a presence in corrugated, having acquired Graphic Sciences in 2012, and the addition of CRI gives the company a leading presence in the corrugated ink market in the U.S.
Founded by Jerry Mosley in 2001 as the Packaging Ink Company, American Inks and Coatings has been active in growing its position in the packaging market over the years. In addition to its 2012 acquisition of Graphic Sciences, the company bought American Inks and Coatings in 2002. The addition of CRI is AIC’s largest acquisition.
“With the merger, the combined companies are well positioned to focus on the changing needs of both the flexible packaging and corrugated market as they continue to consolidate,” Mosley said.
Color Resolutions International was founded in 2001, when Borden Chemical sold its ink division to executives led by George Sickinger, vice president and general manager of Borden Chemical’s Ink Division. CRI will continue as a subsidiary of AIC, and Sickinger, CRI’s chairman, CEO and president, will continue with the company.
”This is a great move for the people of CRI and for me personally,” Sickinger said.