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Merger Mania Takes Hold

July 18, 2005

Merger mania takes hold
One takeover that really came out of the blue was
Hewlett-Packard’s decision to acquire Indigo. As a technology
partner, it already had a 13.4 percent shareholding
of Indigo. Subject to the usual controls, it looks set to
acquire the remaining shares in a mixed stock and cash
deal valued at around $1 billion.
By embracing Indigo’s color printing technology, HP
aims to “transform and lead the rapidly evolving commercial
printing market.” This will include Indigo’s latest Omnius WebStream offerings for the label and tag industry
launched at Labelexpo.
Indigo is a $200 million business with 1,100 employees
headquartered in The Netherlands. Eventually it will operate
as a new division within HP’s Imaging and Printing
Systems business. Founder Benny Landa will become special
advisor to Carly Fiorina, HP’s CEO.
Yet another international merger involves Barco Graphics
of Belgium and Kirkbi A/S, the Danish parent company
of Purup-Eskofot. The deal creates one of Europe’s biggest
digital prepress suppliers. Barco will own 49 percent of the
new company — currently named BPE — and Kirkbi 51
percent. They will combine the R&D and manufacturing
facilities and merge product lines into an integrated portfolio.
The combined turnover of the two organizations forming
BPE will be more than $227 million.
Barco Graphics is strongly positioned in the packaging
and labels sector through its CDI flexo CTP system and prepress
systems. Purup’s strengths are in platesetters and
film imagesetters for the commercial print, newspaper and
quick print markets. BPE will be headquartered in Ghent,
Belgium, and the CEO will be William Schulin-Zeuthen,
currently CEO and president of Purup-Eskofot.
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