26b, Boulevard Royal
Phone: +44 (0)161 776 6810
Fax: +44 (0)161 775 5415
2014 Global Sales: $2.9 billion/€2.2 billion.
Major Products: A wide range of inks, coatings, blankets, pressroom chemistry, printing plates, consumables and more. Expertise in solvent-based, water-based, oil-based and energy curable applications, including offset lithography, flexography, gravure, rotary screen, rotary offset and letterpress. Products are designed to support nearly all print segments in the print media and packaging sectors. Also manufactures dry, flushed and press cake pigments, chips and resins for ink and other applications, aqueous dispersions, hyperdispersants and additives for the colorant market; pressroom chemicals; printing blankets; and flexographic plates and printing equipment.
Key Personnel: Pierre-Marie De Leener, chairman; Antoine Fady, CEO; Steve Dryden, CFO; William B. Miller, president Print Media Transatlantic, Print Media Europe, Pigment, Chips & Resins; Doug Aldred, president Packaging and Narrow Web - EMEA and North America; Jan Paul van der Velde, SVP, procurement, sustainability, regulatory and IT; Russell Taylor, SVP, global human resources, communications and integrity/compliance; Adhemur Pilar, president Flint Group Latin America; Aryan Moelker, president Flexographic Products.
Number of Employees: Approximately 6,600 worldwide.
Comments: With $2.9 billion in sales in 2014, Flint Group is a leading supplier to the printing industry, with sizable positions in publication and packaging ink, flexo printing plates, blankets and sleeves and chemicals for press rooms.
The acquisition of Flint Group by Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division in partnership with Koch Equity Development LLC, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc., was completed in September 2014.
Flint Group had a solid year, with growth in the narrow web and packaging ink fields being particularly strong.
“The packaging and narrow web ink segments fared well in 2014,” said Doug Aldred, president Packaging & Narrow Web.
“Clearly the packaging and label market is strong and growing, and we’re excited to be a leading supplier and partner with printers and converters in this innovative arena.
“The packaging markets are where Flint Group continues to see increased opportunities, and with a global reach, such as ours, we are able to support global accounts and brand owners with a global proposition,” Aldred added.
Meanwhile, the company’s commercial and publication ink operations remained steady.
“As we’ve seen in prior years, Flint Group’s Print Media business benefited by our uniquely well-rounded portfolio and our ongoing investment in inks, blankets and pressroom chemistry for this marketplace,” said William B. Miller, president Print Media Transatlantic. “Flint Group fared well in spite of this, in great part by our ability to maintain important business and gain new customers.”’
The energy curing (EC) market is a growth area for printers, and Flint Group has dedicated major resources to its UV and UV LED products.
During the second half of 2014, Flint Group moved all production of UV sheetfed inks from Baranzate, Italy, to a new center of excellence in UV ink production in Trelleborg, Sweden, which had been manufacturing UV inks for flexible packaging and narrow web for many years. The Baranzate, Italy facility will now focus on producing low migration sheetfed inks and varnishes.
“Energy curing technology is clearly an area of intense activity in our industry, and we in Flint Group fully support this trend,” said Aldred. “We appreciate the strategic importance and the environmental and cost benefits EC brings, which is why we are investing so heavily in our R&D facility in Ypsilanti, (MI, USA), in our production platforms and in bringing top class people into the organization.”
To meet the growing demand for EC inks, Flint Group’s R&D team has developed a series of award-winning UV LED inks, including the Ultraking XCURA range of highly reactive and UV LED inks and coatings and its EkoCure line of flexo and rotary screen UV LED inks.
In recent years, Flint Group has acquired ink manufacturers around the world to strengthen its presence globally. The company turned its attention to South Africa and the Sub-Saharan region in June 2015, launching Flint Group Africa, a new joint venture with Continental Printing Inks and Eagle Ink Systems in South Africa.
Sampie Hamman, managing director of Continental Printing Inks and Eagle Ink Systems, will become CEO of Flint Group Africa.
“Flint Group along with the owners of Continental Printing Inks and Eagle Ink Systems are very pleased with this new partnership and the opportunities it presents to better serve the African market,” said Fady. “Under the guidance of Sampie Hamman, the business we are partnering with has grown to become the largest ink supplier in South Africa with local manufacturing sites in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.”
The transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions, including necessary regulatory approvals, and should be completed by the last quarter of 2015.
In an important move, Flint Group brought on its new Advisory Board in January 2015 to oversee the Executive Management Team after the change of ownership. The board is chaired by Pierre-Marie De Leener, currently chairman of the Braas Monier Building Group and a director of Trinseo. De Leener has held leading positions at PPG Industries, including CEO at PPG Holding Netherlands B.V., and SigmaKalon in the coatings, specialty materials and glass sector.
David W. Scheible, chairman and CEO of Graphic Packaging, is serving as executive director, and Fady and CFO Steve Dryden are shareholder representatives.
“This board will provide Flint Group with strong industry and financial capability and experience, which together with our new shareholders’ full support, puts us in a great position to deliver our strategy,” Fady said.