In a statement released yesterday (20 December), the two manufacturers confirmed that a new joint venture is set to go ahead in the new year, pending merger control approval.
The partnership will first result in the development of a new VariJet press, intended for digital folding carton printing. Production is planned to go ahead in order to ready the machine for a debut at Drupa 2020, which will take place from 16-26 June in Düsseldorf.
“We are looking forward to joint innovations and further developments in future-oriented digital printing technology for folding carton and corrugated board, and not least to the added value this will offer to our customers,” said Koenig & Bauer chief executive Claus Bolza-Schünemann.
“With its wealth of existing know-how, extensive inkjet experience and high-quality solutions, Durst is the ideal partner with whom to pursue the defined objectives.
“As digital printing pioneers, the company has been developing inkjet applications for 25 years and is very successful in digital printing on ceramics, textiles and corrugated board.”
An even 50/50 venture intended to pool the two companies’ collective know-how and technological strengths, operations are set to be located in Koenig & Bauer’s native Germany.
Durst chief executive Christoph Gamper said: “The partnership with Koenig & Bauer now opens up new prospects, as Koenig & Bauer commands not only engineering expertise, but also very good access to the market.
“By combining our know-how, we are in an ideal position to develop and offer fully automatic production lines and will thus also be able to contribute to digital transformation in the folding carton and corrugated industry.”
Representatives at Koenig & Bauer declined to comment further at this time, and Italian manufacturer Durst had yet to respond to requests for further comment at the time of writing.
Koenig & Bauer recently bought an 80% stake in Turkish folder-gluer manufacturer Duran which will see the business merged with its new parent under the brand name Koenig & Bauer Duran.