01 April 2018 Analogue Printing Technologies

Mark Andy grabs oportunity to bring Presstek into expanding group

Mark Andy has bought Presstek in a deal that brings a commercial print arm to expansionist label press supplier.

Mark Andy has bought plates and press manufacturer Presstek, extending a relationship that began when Mark Andy bought Presstek North American consumables business in 2013.

At the time the 70-year-old label press supplier was part of the same American Industrial Partners group. However, a year later a management buyout led by then-CEO PJ Desai began a new chapter for Mark Andy, while Presstek remained part of AIP. Now the expanding packaging press and supplies business has secured the remainder of Presstek, with the exception of its Zahara waterless plates operation.

The deal has been welcomed by Ian Pollock, director of Presstek Eamer. He says: “DI technology is very high in their thoughts and they want to grow the business through innovation and to offer our customers the support they deserve.”

This is confirmed by Mark Andy CEO Kevin Wilken. He says: “Presstek has been a force in the small and medium format offset segment for many years. Presstek’s DI plates and equipment and CTP solutions are well respected throughout the industry, and I am happy to welcome the Presstek employees and products into the Mark Andy family. We expect Presstek's customers to benefit from Mark Andy’s stable leadership, tremendous customer service and unmatched product offerings.”

Presstek DI presses have in the main been used by smaller printers, the majority as 34DI and 52DI machines. It has built a B2 press with a handful of installations using DI technology, but has not had the opportunity to push this development. “Demarcation lines between label printing and offset printers are reducing and some flexo printers are trying to get into other forms of packaging,” says Pollock.

The acquisition takes Mark Andy a further stride into commercial printing and gives it an opportunity to deliver a carton printing product to label printers looking to expand into different areas of packaging. It has extended its range of UV flexo presses with the addition of the DigitalOne compact digital press and inkjet-flexo hybrid machines.

The latest iteration of this is the Digital series HD which has a seven-colour plus white inkjet module over an arched web path for greater stability at speeds of 70m/min. The heads deliver a 1200dpi resolution with a high opacity white, claimed to be the equivalent of a screen applied white ink.

Its main UV flexo label platform is the Performance P series, with the Versa as a mid-web width press as a machine for fast turnaround flexible packaging.

Stuart Gallup will head up a new offset business division for Mark Andy, having previously been in charge of its consumables business. Presstek brings a range of thermally imaged plates and plateletters as well as the DI presses.

Mark Andy has also been expanding through acquisition. As well as sales of Presstek supplies, including those sold to AB Dick users, Mark Andy is the North American distributor for DuPont’s Cyrel plates and platemaking equipment. It has also acquired Rotoflex International, Arpeco, and consumables supplier Print Products Inc in the last decade.

In the UK, Presstek has a European headquarters and showroom near Heathrow, while Mark Andy has offices, sales, service and support operations in Macclesfield with a further site in Poland. It had sales of €40 million in European and Middle East region last year. The deal will increase the number of engineers and feet on the street for both sides of the business.

However, with the completion of the deal only last week there is no detailed strategy for how the businesses will combine. “They are looking to back us as a company in every way possible,” says Pollock.

The deal is the second sell off by AIP in recent weeks. Earlier this week it agreed to combining its Goss press business with Manroland Web Systems, taking a minority stake in the new business. This leaves AIP as owner of the Contiweb business supplying reel stands and ovens for web offset presses and with the Thallo web press for packaging.

Mark Andy is not acquiring the Zahara XP waterless litho plate business. This is being spun off as Verico Technology, an independent business headed by Yuval Dubois, previously Presstek's CEO.

The strategy is to expand market share for waterless litho plates and to exploit the coating expertise and push into new areas.

Gareth Ward

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Mark Andy at Labelexpo

Mark Andy at Labelexpo

Mark Andy has enjoyed strong growth rates in recent years becoming independent of AIP and now is buying Presstek from its former owner. It has launched the DigitalOne, an entry level digital label press and now has upgraded its inkjet offering.

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