Consolidation Continues to Change The Face of the Ink Industry

By David Savastano, Ink World Editor | 11.16.05

Since June, the printing ink industry has seen a wave of consolidations unlike anything it has witnessed in the past. In June, Siegwerk Group acquired SICPA’s packaging ink division, which had an estimated $400 million in sales in 2004.

In July, Flint Ink, with 2004 sales of $1.5 billion, was acquired by CVC Capital Partners and merged with XSYS Print Solutions, forming a $2.6 billion ink company. The acquisition was finalized Sept. 30, as can be seen in our story beginning on page 22.

Most recently, the Huber Group acquired a majority stake in Micro Inks Ltd., which had sales of $220 million in 2004 (see Fresh Ink, page 8, for more details).

Total sales of the three companies that were acquired were $2.2 billion, a significant sum when you consider that most experts put the global ink market at approximately $15 billion.

With these mergers in place, the Siegwerk Group will have $935 million in sales, the vast majority of which will be in packaging. The Huber Group anticipates having $900 million in sales, becoming the leading supplier in the growing ink market in India and adding to its strength in North America and Europe.

There have been a variety of reasons for these recent mergers. First and foremost, printers are becoming increasingly more globalized, and they want suppliers who can meet their demands, whether it is in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific or elsewhere. There is also a pressing need for new technologies that the acquired companies can share, as well as the opportunity to bring a combined portfolio of products to customers.

In the case of Huber Group, there is also the added bonus of adding Micro Inks’ pigment and resin capabilities, a plus considering the challenges being faced over pricing and availability of key raw materials.

Much more on these changes, as well as the happenings at the leading international ink companies, can be found in our comprehensive annual Top International Companies Report beginning on page 29.

It is hard to say whether this pace of consolidation will continue. As the companies continue the process of assimilating their respective acquisitions, the rest of the industry is catching its collective breath and waiting to see what might happen next.

David Savastano
Ink World Editor