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EC approves merger of ANI printing inks, BASF printing systems.

The European Commission approved the proposed acquisition of BASF Printing Systems and ANI Printing Inks by the European private equity firm CVC on Oct. 29. The investigation has shown that the proposed transactions, which will involve the combination of the acquired businesses, will not significantly impede effective competition in the European Union.

A management-buy-out which was financed by CVC funds has created the largest European-owned printing systems supplier in the world market. In terms of turnover, it will be the second largest in Europe and the third largest worldwide.

The new group develops, produces and markets printing inks, printing plates and pigments/resins for the graphics and packaging industry. The company has 65 fully owned subsidiaries in 30 countries and a worldwide network of distributors covers another 50 countries. The group will be headquartered in Stuttgart/Germany, employs 3,600 people worldwide and had sales in 2003 of $1.03 billion.

After the closing the following organizational changes are planned: a new top management team for the combined business will be created that will be headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. Peter Koivula, president of ANI, will become CEO of the new company. He will be joined by Niclas Nystrom, CFO; Dr. Stefan Wegener, operations and synergies; and Frauke Meissner, procurement. Mikael Aspelin will be responsible for legal affairs, administration and HR, Bertil Ahlberg and Dieter Finna will take care of corporate communication and market intelligence. Dr. Michael Stumpp, president of BASF Printing Systems, will take up a new position within the BASF group.

The group will consist of six divisions with far reaching responsibilities for the division managers. Narrow web will be headed by Ewald Draaijer, packaging inks by Dr. Giuseppe Gianetti, printing plates by Dr. Thomas Telser, publication inks by Bart Delaleeuw, sheetfed offset by Dr. Dirk Aulbert and pigments and resins by Dr. Frank Scherhag.

A detailed organization plan will be worked out and announced as soon as possible. The process of finding a new name for the combined companies has also been started.

"Through this combination of two well known ink suppliers we have not only created a leading European company that can service the demanding expectations of our customers, but also a global supplier of complete printing system solutions that can offer better products and services for the graphics and packaging industry," said Mr. Koivula. "The management's financial involvement in the buy-out also strengthens the commitments and feeling of ownership that will help the company to better be able to exploit the opportunities that arise in an increasingly globalized and competitive market."
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Title Annotation:fresh Ink
Publication:Ink World
Date:Dec 1, 2004
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