Heidelberg has exited narrow web by agreeing to sell its Gallus division to Swiss asset management group benpac Holdings. It was only in 2014 that Heidelberg acquired control of Gallus in a deal that made Ferd Ruesch AG Heidelberg’s largest shareholder at 9%. Heidelberg will continue to support the inkjet engine which is part of the Gallus Labelfire 340 press.
The company statements are as follows:
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is systematically pursuing the company’s realignment. Having decided to focus on its core business of sheetfed printing, Heidelberg is selling the Gallus Group to the Swiss packaging business benpac holding ag in Stans while facing up to the challenging situation created by Covid-19.
In the future, Heidelberg and benpac will work together closely on the Gallus Labelfire digital label press. Heidelberg will continue supplying the digital printing unit (DPU) and consumables for this press.
“We are selling our narrow-web rotary and rotary flexographic printing activities to focus more closely on innovative solutions for the entire printed sheet value chain. We will be retaining our in-house digital expertise and, by collaborating with benpac on the Gallus Labelfire, we will also be making further progress with the digitization of conventional presses. At the same time, we will remain a major supplier on the growing label market with our sheetfed offset presses,” says Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer.
The transaction will see benpac assume ownership of Gallus Holding AG in St. Gallen, Gallus Ferd. Rüesch AG in St. Gallen, Gallus Druckmaschinen GmbH in Langgöns, Heidelberg Web Carton Converting GmbH (WCC) in Weiden in der Oberpfalz, and Menschick Trockensysteme GmbH in Renningen – five sites with a total of some 430 employees in Germany and Switzerland. With an agreed purchase price of some 120 million euros, Heidelberg is expecting the deal to generate earnings in the mid two-digit million-euro range. The parameters will be finalized at the time of closing. The sale, which still needs to be approved by the relevant bodies and is subject to other condition precedents, is set to take effect before the end of 2020.
“Our aim is to ensure the long-term financial stability of Heidelberg, and all the measures since our transformation started in March this year have been geared toward this objective. Selling the Gallus Group is another key part of our realignment and follows on from the successes we have achieved so far during the transformation process. This further major boost to our liquidity and Group equity will be a big help, especially during the coronavirus crisis,” underlines Heidelberg CFO Marcus A. Wassenberg.
Service from Heidelberg to continue
benpac and Heidelberg have agreed that Heidelberg will continue to manage the sales and service of the Gallus portfolio in close cooperation after the takeover. Gallus customers will therefore continue to benefit from the proven quality and reliability of the world’s largest service network in the print media industry.
“The acquisition of the Gallus Group is of great strategic importance for benpac holding ag. It completes our overall range in the packaging sector and ensures that the entire value chain is covered. The expertise of the Gallus Group will contribute to the further development of our group of companies,” said Marco Corvi, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of benpac holding ag.
|benpac’s HQ is the former Muller Martini Stans, Swiss, site|
With production facilities in Switzerland and Germany, Gallus develops and manufactures both conventional and digital narrow-web rotary label presses. The machine portfolio is complemented by a range of screen-printing plates (Gallus Screeny), decentralized global service activities, and a comprehensive selection of accessories and spare parts. Heidelberg Web Carton Converting provides high-end webfed printing solutions for folding cartons.
Who is benpac?
|Marco Corvi, CEO benpac|
The benpac holding ag is a leading group of companies for all-inclusive packaging solutions. Other investments include the Mueller-Martini operation in Stans, which was saved by benpac in 2019, preserving 60 jobs and the technology. The group is also active in the fields of engineering, IT technology and consulting. The internationally positioned group employs 3,150 people and is primarily active in the USA and Asia. The headquarters of the holding company is located in Stans, Switzerland.