14909 North Beck Road
Plymouth, MI 48170-7194
Phone: (734) 781-4600
Fax: (734) 781-4699
Sales: 2016 revenues of Flint Group were €2.3 billion (US $2.4 billion); North American Ink Sales: $1.3 billion (Ink World estimate).
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 technologies for various applications, including offset lithography, flexography, gravure, rotary screen, rotary offset, digital 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; printing blankets; and flexographic plates, sleeves and printing equipment. With the acquisition of Xeikon, Flint Group shows its commitment to expanding digital platforms. Flint Group Digital Solutions offers a unique mix of equipment, consumable and services.
Key Personnel: Pierre-Marie De Leener, chairman; Antoine Fady, CEO; Steve Dryden, CFO; William B. Miller, president Print Media/Pigment, Chips & Resins; Doug Aldred, president Packaging and Narrow Web; Jan Paul van der Velde, SVP, procurement, sustainability, regulatory and IT; Russell Taylor, SVP, global human resources, communications and sustainability; Aryan Moelker, president Flexographic Products; Wim Maes, president Flint Group Digital Printing Solutions; Adhemur Pilar, president Flint Group Latin America; Gene Yang, president Asia Pacific.
Number of Employees: Approximately 7,900 worldwide.
Comments: For Flint Group, late 2015 and early 2016 was an extremely active period for mergers and acquisitions. Flint Group added Xeikon and Advanced Color Systems, strengthening its digital and North American packaging ink positions. While Flint Group integrated these companies into their portfolio, the company dramatically expanded its offerings with the acquisition of American Inks & Coatings (AIC) in May 2016.
AIC, the eighth-largest North American printing ink manufacturer in Ink World’s 2016 Top 20 report, recorded sales of $130 million in 2015. AIC’s key markets include water- and solvent-based inks for flexible packaging, folding carton, multi-wall bags, gift wrap and corrugated printing.
“We are very excited by the potential of this partnership,” said Flint Group CEO Antoine Fady. “The investment in AIC leaves Flint Group very well positioned to support the dynamic growth witnessed in the global packaging market and aligns us even closer to customers situated in the important North American packaging and converting market.
“Flint Group will continue to build our businesses in ways that enable us to deliver the very best products, solutions and expertise to the printing industry around the world. The investment in American Inks & Coatings is an important building block of this overall strategy,” Fady concluded.
In October 2016, Flint Group added Marietta, GA-based Printec Industries, Inc. Printec is a specialist in water-based inks flexo and gravure inks, with a focus on the North American paper and board segment.
“We are extremely pleased with this addition to our growing packaging division in North America,” said Doug Aldred, president Flint Group Packaging & Narrow Web.
Flint Group was also very active in the European publication ink market, acquiring Siegwerk Druckfarben’s web offset segment while selling its publication gravure ink business to Sun Chemical.
“Flint Group’s decision to sell its European publication gravure business is in line with the organization’s long-term strategy to increase focus on its core web offset markets, where it continues to build on its market position - as evidenced by the recent purchase of Siegwerk’s global web offset business and expansion of its global Print Media business,” said Tony Lord, Flint Group’s Print Media Europe president.
With these acquisitions, Flint Group has strengthened its portfolio in key market segments, and the company reported excellent results in 2016. Aldred reported that 2016 was an exciting year for Flint Group’s packaging ink business.
“With our recent acquisitions in North America, Flint Group is focusing on supporting customers with the very best products, services and staff of experts,” Aldred said. “We also have had exciting developments within our Flexible Packaging segment in North America, which is a key strategic growth area for Flint Group and our customers.”
On the publication side, printing volumes in the news and heatset web industries have continued to decline, and the publication ink industry has also been impacted.
“Flint Group certainly felt the effects as well, but we planned for this, stuck to our plans, and, as a result, performed well in 2016,” Bill Miller, president Print Media and Pigments, Chips & Resins, said. “All told, Flint Group’s web offset businesses fared well, and we look forward to 2017.”
Aside from its acquisitions, Flint Group continues to invest in its packaging inks operation, adding more than 9,000 square feet to its solvent-based manufacturing facility in Lebanon, OH.
Flint Group was active on the R&D front, adding a wide range of products, notably Flexocure ANCORA 50, a low migration UV flexo range of inks, and EkoCure ANCORA, a UV LED curable low migration narrow web ink series.
Flint Group’s leaders anticipate that the company will continue to grow in all of the markets that it serves during 2017.
“We don’t expect the news, magazine and related print segments to grow in North America, in spite of data that consistently shows a greater impact and return on investment of printed communications channels. These print segments will likely continue to shrink in 2017, though less for heatset than coldset,” Miller observed. “That said, we feel very confident that print still has a very strong role to play in 2017, and far beyond. Flint Group’s goal is to help our customers stay competitive.”
Aldred concluded that 2016 was a very exciting year for Flint Group’s Packaging & Narrow Web businesses.
“We expect to see further consolidation of our customer base in 2017 and the value proposition from Flint Group should help to support our growth within this important segment,” Aldred said.