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Canadian manufacturer goes Dutch in web press deal

September 12, 2005

Canadian manufacturer goes Dutch in web press deal
Another major industry acquisition, this time privately funded and involving two press manufacturers with a lot in common. It is of course the news that Drent Goebel has acquired RDP Marathon. The Dutch company’s acquisition trail began in January 2001 when it took over Goebel’s financially troubled web press division, based in Darmstadt, (it still makes offset modules for Nilpeter’s MO series), hence Drent Goebel. In 2003 it acquired Giebeler, another long established German narrow web press manufacturer. Group headquarters are in Eerbeek, Holland, where Drent Graphic Machines was founded in 1938. In 1996 the privately owned company introduced the Vision SMR, the first narrow web press to use servo drives for all functions.
RDP Marathon was formed in June 1989 by former managers of MAN Ashton. Located in Laval, north Montreal, Canada. It has a reputation for building robust offset, gravure and flexo presses. Its line includes the V-series blanket-to-steel and the P-series perfecting web offset presses in widths up to 38". They are said to complement the Drent Goebel portfolio, led by the Vision/VSOP (Variable Sleeve Offset Printing) series of hybrid offset presses. Both companies target the packaging sector, including glue applied and PS labels, flexible packaging and small folding cartons. Historically, they were traditionally associated with the business forms and document markets.
This synergy led to an earlier crossing of paths in the form of a strategic marketing alliance announced in August 2002. It involved the selling and support of specific models in Europe, the USA and Canada. However, the deal never went ahead and was quietly forgotten. Having acquired the Canadian company for an undisclosed sum, Drent Goebel is now keen to maximize its North American presence from an existing sales and service office near Chicago. Customer-service and support details will be announced in the coming months, including at Labelexpo Europe.
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