Benny Landa’s Landa Labs division is taking its nano pigment technology into automotive coatings through a new strategic partnership with BASF.
The deal was announced at the European Coatings Show, being held in Nuremberg in Germany this week.
The arrangement, described as a strategic long-term partnership, will see BASF deploying Landa’s nano pigment know-how in a new range of “easily dispersible ultra-high transparency pigments”, via its Colors & Effects brand.
It is expected to result in automotive coatings with an “unprecedented” depth of colour, and that are also simpler to produce.
Although Colors & Effects encompasses BASF products for other industries, including printing, PrintWeek understand the deal is specific to automotive products.
Landa is chairman of the Landa Group of companies which includes Landa Digital Printing, innovation arm Landa Labs, investment wing Landa Ventures, and the Landa Fund, which provides education funding for underprivileged young people.
At Drupa he spoke about how the nano technology being developed by his group had potential applications in numerous other markets, including the automotive industry, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.
He said he believed the new BASF partnership had the potential to disrupt the market: “By combining our technologies and expertise, we can provide fantastic new products to the automotive coatings market.”
Alexander Haunschild, senior vice president for pigments at BASF, described it as an exciting, cutting-edge venture. “We see the remarkable impact that Benny Landa and his company are having in the printing industry and are proud to bring this amazing technology to our customers in the automotive coatings market.”
Landa sold its Metallography technology to speciality chemicals group and Landa investor Altana earlier this year, and expects to ship its first Nanography press to an as-yet-unnamed beta customer over the summer.
Separately, Altana recently announced its results for 2016. Sales were effectively flat, up 1% at €2.06bn (£1.8bn), but operating income jumped by 31% to €328.7m. The group’s management said: “In 2016 Altana again achieved profitable growth, and at the same time paved the way for a successful and profitable future.”
The Altana filings reveal that its €100m investment in Landa represents a 33.3% stake, and that in 2016 it “participated in the capital increases of Landa Corp corresponding to its interest with an amount of €13.8m".
Altana also stated that losses from associated companies worsened from €12.9m in 2015 to €20.3m in 2016 “due to the fact that the Israeli company Landa Corp posted a higher loss for the year.”
However, the group said the -€20.3m figure was not solely related to Landa, and included other associated companies as well.
An Altana spokesperson told PrintWeek: “Landa’s 2016 fiscal year was shaped by higher expenditures for the preparation of a broad market introduction of new products. Altana continues to invest in Landa Corporation and is excited about its partnership with Landa and the opportunities Landa pursues, as the recent acquisition of Landa’s Metallography technology, which has just been announced last month, shows.”