Goss International, the US-based web offset press manufacturer, has added Illinois-based Loudon Machine to its group as part of a global strategy to grow its footprint in upgrades, parts and services.
Goss was itself bought by private equity outfit American Industrial Partners in 2015 and has since embarked on a strategic acquisition programme to complement its organic growth.
The latest deal for Loudon Machine is Goss’ second acquisition in the post-press arena this year, after it bought Graphic Automation and Controls (GAC) in March.
Goss makes presses and finishing systems for magazines, newspapers, catalogues, packaging, direct mail and other printing applications. Back in the 1980s it employed around 1,000 people at a manufacturing plant in Preston, Lancs. Today the Preston office is a sales and service unit for newspaper presses in the EMEA region, with around 45 staff, along with an engineering team to support the UK and EMEA. The Preston office also works with the Durham headquarters on various newspaper market projects.
The EMEA commercial print market is served from Boxmeer in the Netherlands, also home to Goss’ European centre for the design and manufacture of driers and splicers, and unwinders and rewinders for digital presses. Around 240 staff are based at Boxmeer.
Business development director John Gallagher told PrintWeek that while Goss still sells some new equipment in the UK and Europe, that market is consolidating and so the company’s new strategy is to focus on “upgrades, enhancements and services”.
This is evidenced by the recent additions of Loudon Machine and GAC.
Gallagher explained: “At Goss we’ve always been in the market of providing upgrades but now it’s much more relevant. So our strategy now is to leverage the capabilities of companies like Loudon Machine and GAC and really enhance our service and aftermarket portfolio, including becoming a total-support, total-solution provider for our customers.
“With GAC, for example, it enables us to walk into one of our customers’ facilties and consider upgrade opportunities on any piece of equipment in there, whether it’s Goss equipment or one of our competitors’ equipment. We can look at virtually anything in the building, press or post-press, Goss OEM or another OEM supplier, we have the capability to do that.”
Gallagher said that while the acquisitions of Loudon and GAC were focused on the US market, Goss planned to export their knowledge to other regions.
“We plan to have them working with our team in Preston for example and be able to apply the same philosophy and the same products and upgrades etc to the UK and European markets,” he said.
Gallagher added that Goss was “absolutely” looking at acquisition opportunities in the UK and Europe too. “We have a very clear vision of where we want to go and some of that does involve looking at other businesses. But we’re big on organic growth as well – we’re seeing growth in upgrades and parts and services so even without acquisition the aftermarket is growing for us in the UK.”
Loudon Machine supplies new and refurbished bindery equipment, parts and service, with a product line that takes in saddle stitchers, feeders and bases to shuttle hoppers, test stands and trimmers. The firm also offers several custom manufacturing services.
Goss employees number around 1,500 worldwide, split roughly equally across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.