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Mark Andy buys Rotoflex; production is restarted

December 16, 2008

The finishing equipment manufacturer will maintain an independent brand presence under its new owner.

After months of speculation throughout the industry about the future of Rotoflex International, press maker Mark Andy has announced the acquisition of the Canadian manufacturer of high end web inspection and finishing equipment. The purchaser is MAI Holdings, which is Mark Andy’s recently formed parent company. The asset-only acquisition from former owner Reinhard Muhs and receivers was finalized December 11.

Rotoflex, a 35 year old company that is highly regarded in the narrow web industry, had been actively seeking a new owner since at least the late spring of this year. Now, under its new owner, it will maintain an independent brand presence as part of the Mark Andy family of companies, which include Comco and UVT.

“The immediate plan calls for heightened focus on the customer through Rotoflex sales continuity and improved worldwide support,” says Paul Brauss, CEO of MAI Holdings. “In addition, the implementation of new operational efficiencies will allow Rotoflex to build and deliver a higher level of customer satisfaction.”

MAI, Brauss reports, has rehired most of the company’s employees who were laid off recently. “Part of the fun was that we got to call people back to work. We have solidified all the engineers, the service team and the sales force. This is our kickoff week for production people coming back.”

At the time of the acquisition, several dozen orders had been placed for Rotoflex equipment that were unfulfilled. Mark Andy has “taken on quite a bit of cost to make sure that customers are treated properly,” says Brauss. “A lot of customers had made deposits on machinery, and we're working with them to honor their deposits.

“Our big emphasis will be in service. We are reinvesting in the service processes and enhancing them. We will see more feet on the street to service customers right out of the gate. That is a high priority for us.”

Rotoflex is headquartered in Mississauga, ON, Canada, which is where all machinery has been manufactured. Future plans include moving manufacturing operations to the US. Brauss says that most of the fabrication will take place in Mark Andy’s plant in St. Louis, and assembly of Rotoflex machinery will take place in Cincinnati.

Several years ago Mark Andy introduced a slitter rewinder, the VSR. That product, says Brauss, will become a Rotoflex machine and will join the Rotoflex portfolio. “While there is a slowdown in the supply chain, there is also a refueling of the development process,” he adds. “There are some nice developments that will be coming to fruition in short order. We will be focusing on the film market, product enhancements, and more in digital finishing.

Val Rimas of Rotoflex calls the purchase “a game-changing development. This new ownership compliments and enhances Rotoflex’s value proposition by bringing efficiencies to our operation to better respond to our customers and maintain a leading position in the market. We see a bright future with a solid foundation for success.”

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