Coupling for KBA, MAN?

WURZBURG, GERMANY—It takes two to Tango and, despite a German newspaper report that cited Koenig & Bauer AG’s (KBA) desire to grow its platform by enlisting the help of a competitor, a major consolidation between competing press manufacturers does not appear imminent.

KBA CEO Albrecht Bolza-Schunemann was quoted in the May 12 edition of Boersen-Zeitung as saying his company is interested in creating a relationship with MAN Roland, via a partnership or even an acquisition.

“We are open to everything. But, in the case of a partnership, there has to be clear ground rules that clarify who is responsible for which activities,” Bolza-Schunemann told the paper.

In a statement to the trade press, Allianz Capital Partners, which recently acquired 65 percent of MAN Roland Druckmaschinen, underscored its intention to use the manufacturer as a “vehicle of future expansion within the printing industry.” Thomas Pütter, chairman of Allianz’s management board, feels MAN’s market position and product know-how should pave the way for growth and a significant role in possible consolidation in this manufacturing space.

As for clear ground rules, MAN Roland won’t commit to playing just yet. Allianz and MAN AG (which still retains a 35 percent stake in MAN Roland) said it would be “premature to speculate whether Koenig & Bauer AG, or any other manufacturer, would fit into MAN Roland’s future acquisition plans.”

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