Thursday, 04 February 2010 12:45

Ferrostaal buys CPI conventional business in ANZ

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Ferrostaal has bought the conventional printing machinery business of CPI Group in Australia and New Zealand, including the distribution of flagship brands, Komori (offset printing presses), Wohlenberg (guillotines and perfect binders), Baumann (postpress handling equipment) and Osako (saddle stitchers). Brian Moore reports.

The deal was announced in a letter to the Australian Stock Exchange this morning from CPI Group managing director, Bernard Cassell, who said, "The sale is part of CPI's strategic plan to concentrate more on its core business. We are delighted to be able to enter the arrangements with Ferrostaal who are a proven supplier to this market."

Financial arrangements of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Ferrostaal is taking over related spare parts inventory, selected sales and service staff including Gerard Wintle, and assume responsibility for all service and outstanding warranty obligations of the brands involved.

CPI will continue to sell digital finishing and wide format equipment and related consumables.

In an interview with Australian Printer, Ferrostaal CEO, Markus Haefeli said that he was delighted with the transaction. "Since parting the ways with manroland last year, Ferrostaal has been looking carefully for a top of the range brand and in Komori, we now have it," he explained.

"Komori, together with the other market-leading brands acquired through the CPI purchase will further strengthen Ferrostaal's position as the graphic arts economy continues to recover in Australia and New Zealand."

The CPI deal has brought to a climax an aggressive search by Haefeli for top flight brands to compliment the Ferrostaal range.

"Ferrostaal is strongly committed globally to the printing industry and over the last 12 months has demonstrated this with substantial investment in people, infrastructure and brands that make it a major player both in conventional and digital print."

Those relationships include a tie-up with Canon in digital print and a soon-to-be announced representation deal with a major prepress manufacturer including both heavy metal and consumables to replace Ferrostaal's distribution arrangement with Kodak which was terminated earlier this year.

Haefeli expects the deal with CPI to be concluded in the next week and that the transfer of people, brands and inventory will be completed immediately thereafter.

Despite the financial upheavel of 2008-9, Ferrostaal during this time went through a change of majority ownership from the German MAN group to the IPIC (International Petroleum Investment Company, Abu Dhabi) with the resulting infusion of substantial funds for its continued growth and expansion. Though involved in other high capital investment areas such as oil and infrastructure, Ferrostaal is very seriously committed to print, as its investment in Australia and overseas continues to show, says Haefeli.

"There is minimal overlap of brands - the Ferrostaal and CPI range have proven very complimentary - and we are looking forward to growing our business with our existing customer base as well as exploring the possibilities of a whole new group of customers in the graphic arts industry."

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