Goss, Eastman Kodak Acquire Heidelberg Divisions

HEIDELBERG, GERMANY—Eastman Kodak and Goss International were revealed as the recipients of divisions that Heidelberger Druckmaschinen (Heidelberg) announced it would divest last November.

Heidelberg has reached an agreement to sell its digital printing division and all of its digital printing activities to Eastman Kodak for a maximum of US$150 million, a deal that has to be approved by antitrust organizations.

The deal includes Heidelberg’s digital black-and-white business, Heidelberg Digital Imaging of Rochester, NY, its 50 percent share in the Heidelberg/Eastman Kodak joint enterprise venture Nexpress Solutions, also of Rochester, as well as its 100 percent share of Nexpress GmbH in Kiel, Germany. Over the next two years, Heidelberg will not engage in competitive activities related to its digital division to be transferred.

Both companies agreed to use a performance-based earn-out formula. Kodak will make periodic payments to Heidelberg over a two-year period, if certain sales goals are met. If all sales goals are met during the next two calendar years, ending Dec. 31, 2005, Kodak will pay a maximum of $150 million in cash. The companies also agreed on undisclosed compensation based on sales targets over a five-year period.

In a recent interview with Printing Impressions, Heidelberg USA President and CEO Niels Winther noted that Kodak and Heidelberg will work closely to make sure that sales, service and product support remain virtually transparent to Nexpress and Digimaster customers. He also stressed that the relationship between the two companies is a “non-hostile environment.”

Also, as expected, Goss International is acquiring Heidelberg’s web offset division. The deal, which still needs to be ironed out, includes Heidelberg’s commercial web and newspaper presses, along with the U.S. web finishing business. The move sees Heidelberg garner nearly 20 percent in Goss International shares.

During the 2002-2003 fiscal campaign, the web offset division posted Euro 430 million in sales, or roughly 10 percent of Heidelberg’s overall performance of Euro 4.1 billion.

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