Reuters: Flint Group could spin off flexo wing

Friday, May 21, 2021

Flint Group is engaging with potential buyers for its Xsys pre-press business according to a report from Reuters.

New Xsys Nyloflex FTM Digital flexo plate for use with water-based inks
New Xsys Nyloflex FTM Digital flexo plate for use with water-based inks

The manufacturer set up the new Xsys division at the beginning of the year. It brought together Flint’s flexo wing and Xeikon’s pre-press business.

Xsys has sales of around €300m (£258m) and 600 employees.

The Reuters report detailed how private equity buyers were “falling out of love” with plastic packaging businesses because of ESG (environmental, social and governance) issues around the use of plastics – although some companies are able to overcome these issues by making products that are reusable or recyclable.

Reuters said that some investors were also of the view that companies in associated sectors “face being impacted by the tougher line being taken on ESG”.

“A test of this could come with the sale of printing ink maker Flint's flexographic unit, whose products are used to print on plastic and paper packaging, and which asked for first-round bids from prospective buyers earlier this month,” the report said.

Neither Flint nor Xsys had commented at the time of writing.

Last summer Reuters speculated that Flint's owners could put the whole business up for sale, although its divisional structure could see the group split up. 

Earlier this month Xsys launched a new Nyloflex FTM Digital flexo plate for use with water-based inks, and said the plate was “suitable for printing on paper substrates to meet sustainability demands”.

Two years ago Kodak sold its flexo business, which was renamed Miraclon, to private equity buyer Montagu Private Equity in a $340m (£240m) deal.

Separately, all stores in England are required to charge shoppers 10p for single-use plastic bags as of today. It was previously 5p, and did not apply to smaller shops.

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