New JV for Heidelberg and Masterwork

Jo Francis
Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Heidelberg has deepened its relationship with major shareholder Masterwork Group through a new joint venture for the production of parts in China.

Heidelberg and Masterwork exhibited alongside each other at the last Drupa
Heidelberg and Masterwork exhibited alongside each other at the last Drupa

The cooperation will see Masterwork make parts for Heidelberg at its factory in Tianjin near Beijing.

Masterwork president Li Li described it as “a very important step” in the strategic partnership between the two manufacturers.

“Our common goal is to provide high-quality, cost-effective and intelligent products for the market to better meet and service customer needs,” she stated.

“We firmly believe that the joint venture will live up to the expectations, especially the quality requirements. Finally, we are very happy with this cooperation. By learning from Heidelberg, Masterwork will surely upgrade to a new and higher level of manufacturing and production skills worldwide.”

Heidelberg has its own factory near Shanghai, 706 miles south of Tianjin. It employs 900 staff in China with around half working in sales and service.

The Shanghai press manufacturing facility was set up 15 years ago and manufactured its 9,999th printing unit over the summer.

Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer said the move would open up new opportunities in China – Heidelberg’s single biggest market – and marked a “further milestone” in the relationship between the two companies.

“With a sales volume of around €300m, China is Heidelberg's most important single market in the graphic arts industry. We have increasingly strengthened our leading market position by expanding our range of products at our production site near Shanghai. The increasing purchase of locally manufactured parts will significantly increase our competitiveness in this growth market,” he stated.

The joint venture will take over some of the machine parts previously manufactured by Heidelberg. The main customers will be Heidelberg’s Shanghai operation and Masterwork and its partner companies.

Production in Tianjin is scheduled to start at the beginning of 2021.

Masterwork is Heidelberg’s biggest shareholder and owns 8.5% of the Germany-headquartered group. It makes a range of equipment including die-cutters and folder-gluers, including the Diana folder-gluer range sold by Heidelberg. 

Heidelberg’s share price was up 4.8% at €0.81 today.

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