Agfa Graphics has announced that it has signed an agreement to purchase the assets of the Harold M. Pitman Company, a leading US supplier of prepress, industrial inkjet, pressroom and packaging printing products and systems. Pitman will operate as a subsidiary of Agfa, and will retain its name and brand in the marketplace.
Agfa says that the acquisition substantially increases its revenue in the US to more than $500 million. The incremental EBIT contribution is expected to be well in line with Agfa Graphics’ global 7 percent target. After the closing, Agfa says, it expects further growth of its US top line resulting from the combination of expertise available in both companies. Agfa also expects strong synergies to be delivered from the consolidation of sales forces and the reduction of G&A expenses.
“Pitman’s strong distribution network and broad portfolio of products and systems, combined with our leading technology, will provide us with promising growth opportunities in this strategically important region,” says Stefaan Vanhooren, president of Agfa Graphics, Moortsel, Belgium. “One glance at Pitman’s extensive catalog is enough to understand that we will considerably expand our scope. One of the main drivers behind this decision was the fact that we gain a unique opportunity to significantly grow our inkjet business.”
Based in Totowa, NJ, the Pitman Company employs 502 employees at 16 locations throughout the USA.
Pitman made headlines late last week when Kodak announced that it would terminate its long-standing distribution agreement with Pitman and move its business to Xpedx. In the wake of that announcement, Pitman Chairman Paul Schmidt Jr. mentioned its alignment with Agfa but did not tip his hand about the pending acquisition: “For our prepress customers we are aligned with Agfa Graphics to provide its award-winning product portfolio. Agfa recently invested to upgrade its Branchburg, NJ, plate manufacturing facility as well as its global manufacturing. Therefore it has the additional capacity and capability to support Pitman and any additional increases in demand.”
In revealing the acquisition, Schmidt says, “Our family built the Pitman Company into an industry-leading graphic solutions provider, and for over 50 years we have been strategic partners with Agfa. I feel very confident about this new chapter in the history of the Pitman Company and I know that it is the combined force of Pitman and Agfa that will drive this company to the next level by providing present and future customers a greater value package of goods and services."