CirclePrinters buys Roto Smeets

By Jo Francis, Monday 13 February 2017

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Continental groups CirclePrinters and Roto Smeets are to merge, in European print’s latest consolidation play.

gravure-press-circleprinters

Another major merger in European high-volume print

CirclePrinters will acquire the shares and operations of Roto Smeets for an undisclosed sum, and the combined business will have sales of more than €500m (£425m) and employ some 2,500 staff.

The two companies have a substantial amount of gravure and web offset capacity. 

CirclePrinters is headquartered in Amsterdam and has operations in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Finland. It employs around 1,500 staff. It underwent a change of ownership last year when former Polestar executive Peter Andreou took over at the company.

Roto Smeets is headquartered in the Netherlands and has three print sites there and one in Hungary. It also has an omni-channel marketing business in the Netherlands, MPG.

Both brands will be retained.

Andreou said the deal would create “a powerhouse” processing circa 750,000-800,000 tonnes of paper a year putting it in the top three largest European print groups alongside Bertelsmann Printing Group and Walstead, and able to lead further consolidation in the industry. 

He told PrintWeek: “This was always part of the strategy when I took over at CirclePrinters, and it’s the way the industry is going. The two businesses complement each other well and are geographically strong, rather than having a huge overlap of markets.

Both firms print for UK customers. CirclePrinters picked up the contract to print Hello! magazine after Polestar's collapse

Andreou will be executive chairman and chief executive of the enlarged group, and will run it together with Roto Smeets chief executive Joost de Haas, who will be executive director. De Haas said the merger would bring a number of benefits through economies of scale, facilitate international expansion of MPG, and allow the firms to “optimise our order portfolios”.

“We are well positioned to remain competitive and invest in the future,” de Haas said.

Roto Smeets delisted from the Euronext stock exchange in 2015, and closed its Etten plant last year. It has just refinanced with Rabobank and DLL.

The deal is subject to approval by the Austrian competition authorities, the Roto Smeets central works council, and the shareholders of the two groups. 

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