Managed Print Services Take Center Stage – September 2016 M&A Activity
Private equity has taken note of the MPS business. San Francisco-based Oval Partners announced the acquisition of Laser Options in Phoenix, Arizona. Laser Options sells and maintains copiers, printers and document management solutions to corporate customers in the Southwest. This is the second acquisition for Oval Partners in the MPS segment, having acquired FlexPrint as its platform company in the MPS business earlier this year (see The Target Report – January 2016).
Ink is in. A major player in the global ink industry, Luxembourg-based Flint Group, announced the purchase of Printec, a manufacturer of water-based inks for flexo and gravure printers, primarily used to print paper cups and plates, folding cartons and other specialty applications. With backing from Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division and Koch Industries, the Flint Group has been an active acquirer of ink manufacturers and other supplies to the printing and related industries. In a somewhat surprising move last year, Flint got into the digital printing equipment business, acquiring press manufacturer Xeikon. Looked at another way, however, the acquisition brings two decades’ development of toner-based technology to the Flint Group, a company that has traditionally sold the blades, not the razors. The technology and foothold in the digital printing segment may position the company as a potential supplier of consumables to the growing digital printing industry. We won’t be surprised if future acquisitions by Flint focus on toner and inkjet supplies.
Avery Dennison, supplier of label and wide format substrates, added to its depth of products in the inkjet printing market with the acquisition of Ink Mill, a manufacturer of solvent-based, water-based and UV-curable inks for digital inkjet printing devices.
Here is a summary of transactions in the ink industry during 2015 and the first nine months
of 2016 (see corresponding Target Reports for more info and links to sources):