to equity firm
The takeover of Stork Prints Group by fellow Dutch company Bencis Capital Partners means that most of the major international prepress suppliers have given up their independence to become part of largely anonymous investment companies (EskoArtwork is an obvious example). In effect it is an evolutionary development, following the large number of mergers and acquisitions of the 1990s that saw many smaller prepress companies become part of larger international groups.
The degree to which the current international banking crisis will cramp the style of the new masters is another matter entirely.
In respect of Stork Prints, approximately 1,350 employees are involved in the takeover. Bencis says there will be “no negative consequences for current employment levels”. Stork Prints had a total turnover of €186 million ($273 million) in 2006. It was part of Stork NV, a global technology group comprising 60 companies.
Dick Joustra, president, says the day-to-day running of the company will continue as usual. That means Stork will continue to manufacture rotary screen technology, direct laser engraving systems and consumable products under its current name and with the existing management. The deal includes Stork’s affiliated company, AKL Flexotechnik GmbH. It makes flexo consumable products, including conventional sleeves for plate mounting, seamless-endless photopolymer printing formes and Optiflex thin sleeve and adapter technology.