Not surprisingly, there has been much consolidation among leading converters within these segments. For example, Ball completed its acquisition of Rexam during the past year, forming the largest beverage can converter, and WestRock, the combination of RockTenn and MeadWestvaco, is a huge player in consumer goods packaging. No doubt other mergers will follow.
The ink industry has, by contrast, been fairly stable over the years. Actually, it has been more than a decade since one of the 10 largest North American ink companies was acquired by another ink manufacturer. Meanwhile, deals between Sun Chemical and Flint Group, the two largest global ink producers, have been practically non-existent. Both of these trends changed in 2016.
Continuing its streak of acquisitions from 2015, Flint Group made a huge move by acquiring American Inks & Coatings (AIC), the eighth-largest North American ink manufacturer based on our most recent Top 20 report. With $130 million in sales in 2015, AIC is a specialist in water- and solvent-based packaging inks in North America, a market that Flint Group is emphasizing. Flint Group also added Printec Industries, another North American packaging ink specialist, later in 2016.
As for M&A activity between Sun Chemical and Flint Group, Sun Chemical acquired Flint Group’s European publication gravure ink operation. Meanwhile, Flint Group acquired Siegwerk’s web offset ink division in Europe.
It is uncertain whether there will be more large-scale mergers within the ink industry in the coming year. It is certainly a smaller industry than the printing industry, with fewer companies. However, the same forces that are driving changes in the printing business are present in the ink industry as well, and that will likely lead to more acquisitions in the future.
North American Ink Sales
Global Ink Sales (Parent)
|1||Sun Chemical||$1,500*||$3,500 (Sun Chemical)**||1|
|2||Flint Group||$1,300*||$2,300 (Flint Group)||2|
|3||INX International||$375||$1,230 (Sakata INX)||3|
|5||Siegwerk||$200||$1,220 (Siegwerk Group)||5|
|7||DuPont Ink Jet||$175*||7|
|9||Toyo Ink America||$125||$1,260 (Toyo Ink)||9|
|10||Hostmann-Steinberg||$120||$925 (Huber Group)||10|
|11||Sanchez SA de CV||$101||12|
|12||Fujifilm North America, GSD||$100*||$375* (Fujifilm)||13|
|15||SICPA Securink||$60*||$400* (SICPA Group)||16|
|15||Van Son||$60*||$130* (Royal Dutch Van Son)||16|