Komori to acquire MBO Group


Komori has signed a deal to acquire MBO Group, with the aim of making the German paper folding machine manufacturer a Komori subsidiary.

The deal marks the second attempted purchase of MBO in the past 18 months
The deal marks the second attempted purchase of MBO in the past 18 months

The acquisition agreement took place on Thursday (6 February) and in a subsequent statement Komori said it “believes that both companies are well positioned to complement each other”.

The deal is the second attempted purchase of MBO in the past 18 months. Heidelberg had inked a deal to acquire the company in October 2018, but the German Federal Cartel Office blocked the transaction on the grounds it would have given Heidelberg a dominant market position.

While offset printing business is Japanese manufacturer Komori’s core operation, it said it is currently “pushing ahead with transforming its business structure under the Sixth Medium-Term Management Plan (April 2019 – March 2024) in line with the plan’s key strategy aimed at expanding Komori’s range of marketing”.

In particular, it said it has been focused on developing its Print Engineering Service Provider (PESP) business since 2009.

“To embody the PESP business approach, Komori launched the marketing of paper cutters, die-cutters, blanking machines, pile turning machines and other post-press equipment that supports package printing.

“These products are greatly helping resolve major issues printing companies are now confronting, such as labour shortages.”

Recording sales of €51.7m (£43.8m) in 2018, MBO runs plants in two locations in Germany, the MBO plant at Oppenweiler and the Herzog + Heymann facility in Bielefeld, as well as another MBO factory in Portugal. It also operates local subsidiaries in the US, France and China and collaborates with a raft of sales partners in countries around the globe.

Komori said MBO’s operations do not overlap with its own and that through the acquisition it expects to be able to market unique products that will support its PESP business.

“Specifically, the inclusion of the aforementioned operations into Komori’s business portfolio will help it introduce post-press solutions for commercial printing, a new field for Komori,” the company added.

“When coupled with IoT-based cloud solutions, KP-Connect that Komori is promoting on a global basis, the MBO Group’s products will also help provide customers with even more robust, seamless printing production systems that include post-press processing.

“Komori is also looking to develop new solutions through the combination of the MBO Group’s technologies and Komori’s DPS, offset printing presses and other key products.”

Komori said other advantages of the deal included MBO subsidiary Herzog & Heymann’s specialist folding machinery, and MBO’s collaboration with robot makers, which has resulted in the creation of “labour-saving systems”.

The deal is scheduled to complete on 1 April 2020 at the earliest, meaning its impact on Komori’s consolidated operating results for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2020 is negligible.

Friedheim International distributes MBO machinery in the UK and a spokesperson for the company told Printweek the deal is “a really positive move overall”, both financially and in terms of R&D, and that it would be “business as usual, with no effect on the way we do business”.

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