Top Companies Report



Abelstraße 43
46483 Wesel
Tel: +49 281 670-8
Fax: +49 281 670-10999

Sales: $300 million in printing ink and graphic arts coatings sales (Ink World estimate); €1.765 billion ($2.43 billion) overall.

Major Products: Metallic inks and pigments; UV and water-based inks and coatings.

Key Personnel: Dr. Matthias L. Wolfgruber, CEO; Martin Babilas, CFO; Dr. Christoph Schlünken, president Division Additives & Instruments, chairman of the Management Board of BYK-Chemie GmbH; Dr. Wolfgang Schütt, president Division Effect Pigments, chairman of the Management Board ECKART GmbH; Dr. Guido Forstbach, president Division Electrical Insulation, chairman of the Management Board ELANTAS GmbH; Dr. Roland Peter, president Division Coatings & Sealants, chairman of the Management Board ACTEGA GmbH.

Number of Employees: 5,741.

Comments: ALTANA AG enjoyed an a strong 2013, with sales growing 4% to €1.765 billion. The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) also grew by 4%, to €336 million, with a margin of 19%.

“With the acquisition of Rockwood’s rheology business, in particular, we reached another important milestone on our path for profitable growth,” said Dr. Matthias L. Wolfgruber, CEO of ALTANA AG. “We want to consistently continue on our growth course in the future.”

The ALTANA Group is made of four divisions: BYK Additives & Instruments, ECKART Effect Pigments, ELANTAS Electrical Insulation and ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants. In particular, ECKART Effect Pigments and ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants play key roles in terms of ink and graphic arts coatings.

ECKART is the leading metallic ink and pigment manufacturer, and also has a strong position in pearlescent pigments. In 2013, ECKART Effect Pigments’ sales were €335 million ($460 million), a slight decline of 2% from 2012.

ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants includes ACTEGA WIT, the former Water Ink Technologies, a North American water-based ink leader; ACTEGA Colorchemie GmbH, a European water-based flexo and gravure ink manufacturer; ACTEGA Terra GmbH and ACTEGA Kelstar, which manufacture UV and water-based coatings for graphic arts for Europe and North America, respectively. ACTEGA’s 2013 sales also declined slightly by 2% to €325 million ($447 million).

BYK Additives & Instruments is ALTANA’s largest division, specializing is waxes, additives and instruments. In 2013, sales rose by 12% to €691 million ($950 million), with slightly less than half of the increase due to the addition of Rockwood’s rheology activities.

In June 2014, ALTANA announced the grand opening of its expanded BYK USA Inc. facility in Wallingford, CT, more than doubling production capacity in the U.S. The company invested $50 million in the expansion project, which marks the largest single investment the Group has made outside of Germany.

“With this expanded facility, we will accelerate our growth in North America,” said Dr. Wolfgruber.

The ALTANA Group is also growing its business in China, investing more than €30 million in new facilities for ACTEGA, ELANTAS and BYK throughout China.

“With our investment initiative, we’re aiming to increase our presence in Asia further with emphasis on China and take advantage of the enormous market potential here,” Dr. Wolfgruber noted.

In a major move in the printing field, ALTANA and Landa Corporation concluded an equity financing agreement under which ALTANA will invest €100 million (approximately US$135 million) for a minority stake in Landa Digital Printing.

The proceeds will be used for completing the development of Nanography, Landa’s water-based digital printing process, including engineering and production ramp-up of Landa Nanographic Printing Presses and building of manufacturing plants for Landa NanoInk colorants.

“We are extremely excited to be partnering with an industry visionary like Benny Landa. We speak the same language in terms of innovation,” said Dr. Wolfgruber. “I am confident that we are investing in a game-changing technology that can enable the printing industry to thrive in the 21st century and help our customers position themselves well for the future.”

Overall, Dr. Wolfgruber has set ambitious goals for ALTANA. “We seek to double our business by 2020,” he concluded. “This growth should be reflected not only by sales growth to €3.5 billion, but also by new jobs. We have proven that we are able to achieve sustainable growth rates of this magnitude.”