Barry-Wehmiller to acquire Bielomatik’s paper processing group

Richard Stuart-Turner
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

BW Papersystems, the paper and board sheeting and converting arm of US-headquartered equipment manufacturer Barry-Wehmiller, is set to acquire German manufacturer Bielomatik’s paper processing group for an undisclosed sum.

The two businesses signed a letter of agreement last week and expect the sale to be finalised by September at the latest, once approval conditions are met.

BW Papersystems president Neal McConnellogue said: “This acquisition will continue to enhance our global position, and balance out BW Papersystems product portfolio.”

Bielomatik, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year in order to avoid insolvency, is globally known for its paper processing equipment including the CutStar sheeter for Heidelberg presses and other sheeters as well as wrapping, stacking and packing machines.

Its paper processing group also makes stationery manufacturing kit including spiral and wire binding machines, web finishing systems for multi-part forms, and on-demand book binding kit.

Bielomatik chief executive Alexander Wassermann said: “We had announced a fast and successful restructuring process and have kept to that promise. The future of the spun-off paper processing division is thus already secure.”

Wassermann is also optimistic with regard to Bielomatik’s Plastic Welding and Lubrication Technology divisions, which he said are both still seeing growth and will now have more scope for further investment and innovation.

BW Papersystems manufactures equipment including sheeters, splicers, slitter-scorers, direct-drive knives, rotary die-cutters and flexo folder-gluers for the folded carton, corrugated box and paper converting industries worldwide.

BW Papersystems will continue to produce at Bielomatik’s Neuffen and Neuss sites in Germany, as well as in Bologna, Italy.

The business said after the acquisition it will employ over 1,600 team members worldwide, 150 of whom will be brought over from Bielomatik, and generate revenue in excess of $400m (£257m).

Bielomatik’s paper processing division recorded total sales of €78.1m (£54.4m) in 2013.

Barry-Wehmiller is a global supplier of engineering and manufacturing technology for the packaging, corrugating, sheeting and paper converting industries. The business has revenue of nearly $2bn and employs more than 8,000 staff.

Last year it acquired a number of other print-related businesses including food packaging technology company Axone-Systems, packaging machine manufacturer Schib, German paper machinery maker Kugler-Womako and paper manufacturing machinery maker Will-Pemco.

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