Online Exclusives

Ink World’s Top 10 Online Exclusives for 2013

By Bridget Klebaur, Associate Editor | 01.16.14

Throughout the year, Ink World has covered a multitude of stories online, including a wide array of subjects such as mergers and acquisitions, flexo inks, the Latin American market and the ink industry overall. These exclusives drew the highest readership totals.

1.  Toyo Ink Acquires Arets International
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.
2. RR Donnelley’s Planned Acquisition of Consolidated Graphics is of Much Interest to Ink Manufacturers
On Oct. 24, 2013, R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company and Consolidated Graphics, Inc. jointly announced that RR Donnelley will acquire Consolidated Graphics for approximately $620 million, plus the assumption of Consolidated Graphics’ net debt. Consolidated Graphics’ annual sales ending March 2013 were $1,048.2 million. RR Donnelley’s 2012 net sales were $10,221.9 million. According to Printing Impressions 2012 Top 400 list of U.S. and Canadian printers, RR Donnelley is the largest printer, and Consolidated Graphics is the seventh largest.
This acquisition is of great interest to the ink industry for a number of reasons, and not just because of the impact it will likely have on sales of specific companies. This shows that mergers and acquisitions among the customer base are not over yet, which may ultimately signal consolidation within the printing industry’s supplier base. It also shows the impact of digital technologies on commercial printing.

3. The Decline of the Large Conventional Printing Shows
The major players in the ink industry have long been a fixture at drupa, but in 2012, Sun Chemical, Flint Group, Siegwerk and hubergroup all eliminated their exhibits. The reasons cited by the people I spoke with at the time were the economy – it is hard to tell customers that prices are going up when you have a million-dollar commitment in terms of booths and personnel at a show – as well as a sense that money could be spent much more efficiently at niche shows.
4. A Look at the Ink Industry: Ink World Interview with George Sickinger
From time to time, Ink World will interview some of the leaders in the field, and present their viewpoints. This week, we spoke with George Sickinger, chairman, president and CEO of Color Resolutions International (CRI), as well as the president of the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM) from 2010-12.
5. Alvar Acquires Arez LLC, Forms Alrez
Consolidation is also occurring among suppliers. With an eye on bundling its resin and vehicle capabilities for its customers, Alvar has acquired the assets of Arez LLC, including its new production facility in Crossett, AR.
6. The 2013 Flexo Ink Market
Flexo remains the dominant print process for the packaging segment because of its versatility and ability to print on a wide range of substrates, and the process continues to evolve and improve. Flexo ink manufacturers have reported growth over the past year, and are optimistic this trend will continue.
7. The Latin American Ink Market
Latin America is one of the key growth areas for the printing ink industry. As the economy expands, opportunities for packaging and publication printing are emerging, and multinational corporations have moved some of their production to the region. This has led to growth in printing and for ink manufacturers.
While many of the leading international ink manufacturers have set up subsidiaries in Latin America, independent domestic ink manufacturers are also significant players in Central and South America.
8. Mergers and Acquisitions and the Ink Industry
By the end of 2012, the printing industry has seen its share of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), most notably Quad Graphics’ takeover of Vertis late this year, and before that, World Color, and ink industry suppliers have seen many mergers and acquisitions as well. Yet the ink industry seems to have largely avoided M&As. Looking over 2012, there were only a handful of acquisitions of note.
9. Ink Manufacturers, Suppliers Prepare for REACH
REACH, or Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals, is a topic of great interest in Europe and globally. REACH went into effect in the European Union (EU) in June 2007 after much debate, with the goal of regulating and classifying chemicals. Under REACH, manufacturers and importers alike are responsible for providing safety information to the EU on the make-up of their products. The printing ink industry is impacted by REACH, and companies have taken a proactive stance on the issue. Not surprisingly, the major European chemical manufacturers have announced that they have complied with the 2013 REACH deadlines.

10. A Year of Change in the Printing Ink Industry
The printing ink industry and its suppliers had a very quiet year on the M&A front in 2013. In terms of personnel moves and new facilities, though, there has been more news.