*NEWS*FLINT INK TO MERGE WITH XSYS
*NEWS*FLINT INK TO MERGE WITH XSYS
2005-07-24 at 11:04:00 am #12324
Flint Ink will merge with German XSYS Marriage to have little impact locally
Flint Ink Corp., one of Michigan’s largest privately held companies, said Wednesday it is merging with Germany-based XSYS Print Solutions, ending 85 years of family ownership in Michigan.
Flint Ink Corp.
What: World’s second-largest ink maker, manufactures ink for wide variety of industries, including publishing and packaging. Michigan’s ninth-largest privately held company.Founded: 1920 in Detroit.First Customer: The Detroit Free Press in 1920.Headquarters: Ann Arbor.Employees: 4,500 worldwide.CEO: Leonard Davis Frescoln.Ownership: Privately controlled by Flint family members.2004 Revenue: $1.47 billion.The deal, expected to close Sept. 30, will combine two of the world’s leading print companies to form a new entity with annual revenue of about $2.6 billion.Ann Arbor-based Flint Ink produces inks and coatings for a wide range of applications, including publications such as the Detroit Free Press, packaging and digital printing. The company, which has about 4,500 employees worldwide, posted $1.47 billion in sales last year.XSYS, which has 60 subsidiaries in 30 countries, produces printing inks and plates for the graphics and packaging industry. With headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, XSYS has 3,600 employees and annual revenue of $1.07 billion.Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but CVC Capital Partners will own the newly combined company. CVC is a London-based private equity firm that owns more than 50 companies worldwide.“This is a merger with a company that has become a market leader in Europe … and has a pigment production facility in Shanghai, which enhances our global footprint,” said Leonard Davis Frescoln, vice chairman and CEO of Flint Ink.Frescoln will become CEO of the newly combined company, which doesn’t have a name yet.Flint Ink headquarters will remain in Ann Arbor, but the administrative offices for the combined company will be in Luxembourg.The merger also marks the end of the Flint family involvement in the day-to-day operations of the company.Founded in Detroit by H. Howard Flint in 1920, Flint Ink has been a fixture in southeastern Michigan for nearly a century.A former bookkeeper for the Detroit Free Press, Flint’s first customer was the newspaper. Today, the company still provides the ink used to produce the Free Press and the Detroit News.Family members have strictly held ownership of the company, four of whom serve on the board.A fifth grandchild, H. Howard Flint II, generally is credited with growing the business into a billion-dollar operation while serving in numerous executive capacities over 40 years, including chairman, CEO and president. He died last month of pancreatic cancer at age 66. Frescoln succeeded him as CEO in January.Officials at Flint Ink said they don’t anticipate any significant layoffs or plants closings in the United States and Canada as a result of the deal.“Things really shouldn’t change very much,” said Frescoln, who will split his time between Ann Arbor and Luxembourg. “The North American operations will still be headquartered in Ann Arbor. From that standpoint there is no local impact.”The deal comes after months of speculation and recurring reports of deals surrounding world’s second-largest print maker in an industry with excess capacity and under pressure from rising raw material costs.“Flint Ink gives CVC a fully rounded global reach and portfolio,” said David Savastano, editor of Ink World Magazine in New Jersey.“It also gives the new group an excellent presence in the Americas.”