EskoArtwork sold to Danaher

By Simon Nias, Friday 21 January 2011

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EskoArtwork has been sold to Danaher for EUR 350m (297m) after its Danish shareholder Axcel signed a definitive sales purchase agreement with the US-based industrial group.

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EskoArtwork's Carsten Knudsen

Carsten Knudsen, chief executive of EskoArtwork described the move as "an important and very positive step in the continued development of the company".

"I and the entire management team are excited to see Danaher’s strategic interest to acquire the company and develop EskoArtwork as an autonomous business," he added.

"We see this as a vote of confidence in our strategy and a strong belief in our ability to continue to grow in the future."

Axcel bought Esko Graphics in an undisclosed deal in 2005 before merging it two years later with Belgian competitor Artwork Systems, which it acquired in an €196m transaction, to create a global pre-media colossus.

Sigurd Lilianfeldt, partner at Axcel, said: "We have been extremely satisfied with our investment in EskoArtwork. During Axcel’s ownership, EskoArtwork has repositioned itself into a world leading company within its field.

"This is not only due to the merger with Artwork Systems, but also because of significant R&D investments leading to a range of new leading edge solutions. This innovation capacity of EskoArtwork has been instrumental for the impressive EBITDA growth during our ownership leading to this very successful exit for Axcel."

Upon closing, EskoArtwork will become a part of Danaher's Product Identification platform. "Esko has a leading market position, great products and a strong team who we are counting on to drive future growth," said Danaher vice president and group executive of Product Identification Matt Trerotola.

Belgium-headquartered EskoArtwork employs around 1,050 people worldwide and recorded revenues of €184.1m in 2010.

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