Fort Mill, SC 29715
Phone: (803) 548-2210
Sales: $200 million (Ink World estimate).
Major Products: Sheetfed and web offset inks, solvent-based and water-based flexo and gravure inks, energy-curable inks and coatings, security inks, UV inkjet inks, overprint varnish and aqueous coatings.
Key Personnel: Geoff Peters, president and CEO; Daryl Collins, VP of regional operations & marketing; Greg Burch, VP of regional operations & corporate accounts; Jim Leitch, VP of regional operations & business development; Frieda Liles, VP of finance and treasurer; Evan Benbow, Ph.D., director of research; George Vance, director of manufacturing.
Number of Employees: More than 500.
Operating Facilities: 34
Comments: For Wikoff Color, 2018 was another strong year, as the company made a pair of acquisitions, expanded its efforts in South America and continued its growth in its packaging and digital ink segments.
“Wikoff fared well in 2018. We capitalized on several strategic opportunities, including two acquisitions and multiple industry partnerships, positioning us for a promising 2019,” said Wikoff Color CEO Geoff Peters.
In September 2018, Wikoff Color acquired Braden Sutphin Ink Company, Cleveland, OH, increasing their service capabilities and exposure in the North American market.
“A major highlight for Wikoff Color in 2018 was the announcement of our acquisition of Braden Sutphin Ink Company,” Peters said.
“Much like the founding vision for Wikoff Color, Braden Sutphin has a focus on providing technical support and superior service to accompany their high-quality products. This alignment in values gives our companies great synergies.”
The late 2017 acquisition of São Paulo, Brazil-based Verti Produtos Químicos has given Wikoff Color a stronger position in Brazil and South America, and Wikoff Color is placing greater emphasis in the region.
“The year included our participation in Expo Print, a major trade show in Brazil following our late 2017 acquisition of Verti Produtos Químicos,” said Peters. “This was the perfect opportunity to communicate Wikoff’s presence in São Paulo, Brazil by way of acquisition.”
In addition, Peters reported that Wikoff Color signed an agreement with Asahi Photoproducts to become a US distributor of their flexographic photopolymer plates. “We will have access to the full range of flexographic plates from Asahi Photoproducts, which adds to Wikoff’s arsenal of one-stop pressroom solutions,” he added.
In most recent news, Wikoff’s license to manufacture and sell GelFlex EB Flexo products was expanded to include North America. “We are excited to bring this innovative product to our customer base around the globe,” Peters noted.
Packaging and digital inks are strong markets for Wikoff Color.
“In addition to our anticipated growth in the flexible packaging and label markets, we expect to see growth in our Wikoff Graphics product line with the expansion of our consumables product offering, which includes photopolymer plates, pre-press software, color management solutions and more. Our recent partnership with Asahi Photoproducts certainly strengthened this area of our business,” said Greg Burch, VP of regional operations & corporate accounts.
“We see high growth potential in our Wikoff Digital division, particularly among our digital primers and the new product releases in water and solvent thermal inkjet still to come this year,” said Daryl Collins, VP of regional operations & marketing for Wikoff Color.
“To strengthen this area of our business we have added to our team of experts, made further capital investments, launched a new website, debuted a brochure and attended digital specific trade shows.”
Wikoff Color maintained its supply of key raw materials even while the raw material market continued its volatility in 2018.
“Photoinitiators used within UV-cure products continue to be the most challenging raw materials to source due to supply shortages, which are driving material cost increases. However, Wikoff Color continues to work with multiple suppliers, allowing us to successfully maintain necessary inventories,” said Ken Klug, Wikoff Color’s director of purchasing.
Klug added that close collaboration with suppliers is also helping to keep the impact of tariffs lower.
“In anticipation of potential trade barriers, tariffs and other economic concerns, Wikoff has partnered with suppliers globally to reduce the impact of these issues,” Klug noted. “These trusted suppliers have worked to provide comparable materials with the same properties and specifications from alternate locations when available.”
Peters sees excellent opportunities ahead for 2019.
“Wikoff Color expects to see good growth in 2019,” he noted. “If we are able to capitalize on even a portion of everything we have in the works right now, we will succeed in that growth. Margins will continue to be under pressure with continually rising raw material costs.”