When people thought of the top leaders in the international printing ink industry, H. Howard Flint II’s name was very much at the top of the list. The news that Mr. Flint, 66, chairman and retired CEO of Flint Ink Corporation, passed away June 14 after a brief illness came as a devastating blow to his friends and colleagues.
Under Mr. Flint’s leadership, the corporation more than quadrupled in size, reaching its present annual sales of $1.4 billion. Flint Ink expanded into the international marketplace and moved into digital and printed electronics technologies.
While all who knew Mr. Flint spoke of his tremendous business acumen, it was Mr. Flint’s devotion to people that really stands out in the memory of his friends. Longtime colleagues and competitors alike spoke of their utmost respect and friendship for Mr. Flint.
I spoke with many of Mr. Flint’s friends in the days since he passed away, and they all looked back with fondness on their friend, telling stories that clearly show Mr. Flint’s humanity and zest for life. Their recollections can be found beginning on page 16, and the message is clear: Mr. Flint, a true legend in the ink industry, will be missed by all who knew him, but his spirit will certainly live on.
In recent months, there has been a flurry of acquisitions involving the ink industry, with the latest news being Siegwerk Group’s purchase agreement to acquire the packaging ink division of SICPA Holding SA.Regulatory approval is expected from the anti-trust authorities during the summer.
Once this acquisition is approved, the Siegwerk Group would move up to become one of the world’s top five ink manufacturers with consolidated total net sales of €773 million ($935 million).
This acquisition makes a great deal of sense. The packaging ink segment has offered strong opportunities for growth in recent years, and with the addition of SICPA’s packaging ink division, Siegwerk Group becomes the world’s second-largest manufacturer of packaging ink, with consolidated total net sales of €613 million ($740 million) in the packaging ink segment.
Meanwhile, SICPA Group will focus on its highly successful security inks and systems businesses for governments and industry.For more on this acquisition, please see our story on page 15.
It has been a busy time for the ink industry, and there is reason to believe that there may be more coming soon. What this will all mean for the ink industry remains to be seen.