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Altana acquires Water Ink Technologies

July 16, 2009

The US manufacturer of inks for the narrow web market will be integrated into Altana’s coatings and sealants division under the name Actega WIT.

Altana, a specialty chemicals group based in Wesel, Germany, has entered into an agreement to acquire Water Ink Technologies Inc., Lincolnton, NC, USA. Water Ink Technologies produces primarily water-based and UV curable inks, coatings and varnishes for narrow web applications at three sites in North Carolina.

Water Ink Technologies will be integrated into the Actega Coatings & Sealants division under the new name Actega WIT. The existing management team, under the leadership of Michael C. and Patrick S. Hague, will continue to run the operations.

“The acquisition of Water Ink Technologies underlines that even and especially in difficult economic times we are fully committed to continue our growth course through suitable acquisitions and to further create value for the company,” says Matthias L. Wolfgruber, CEO of Altana. “The company fulfills our strict acquisition criteria in an exemplary way; it is not only an excellent strategic match, but will also further enhance our profitability.”

“For Actega, the acquisition of Water Ink Technologies means a sustained strengthening and the expansion of our market position in the specialty segment of narrow web printing with water based as well as UV curing coatings and inks,” notes Guido Forstbach, president of the coatings and sealants division.

“I am pleased that with Altana we found an excellent new parent for our business,” says Michael Hague, president of Water Ink Technologies. “Altana stands for a clear strategy, stability and continuity. I am convinced that we will prosper and our success story will continue under its new owner. Altana’s global presence and its competence in the graphics industry are an excellent basis to expand our product offering and our business also in Europe and Asia.”

In addition, Water Ink Technologies provides customer service through several mixing stations in the US and Canada. The company has consolidated sales of about $34 million (€27 million) in 2008 and almost 150 employees.

The Altana Group has four divisions: BYK Additives & Instruments, Eckart Effect Pigments, Elantas Electrical Insulation, and Actega Coatings & Sealants. Its products are used by coating manufacturers, paint and plastic processors, the printing and cosmetic industries, and the electrical and electronics industries. The product range includes additives, special coatings and adhesives, effect pigments, sealants and compounds, impregnating resins and varnishes, and testing and measuring instruments.

The group has 33 production facilities and 46 service and research laboratories worldwide. It employs 4,700 people and had sales of about €1.3 billion in 2008.