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British industrialist rescues manroland sheetfed factory

Friday, 03 February 2012
By Print21

A privately owned British engineering group has emerged as the buyer of manroland AG’s Offenbach sheetfed operations in the printer manufacturer’s ongoing insolvency proceedings, heralding the first non-German ownership of a manroland AG business.

Langley Holdings plc, a large engineering and technology group based in Nottinghamshire, UK, has been named as the investor behind the takeover of manroland’s sheetfed equipment division, and will also claim control of the business’s international marketing organization in over 40 countries.

However, it will not own the local manroland company, manroland Australasia Pty Limited under Steve Dunwell (pictured), which is now part of the manroland web Systems GmbH, part of the Possehl Group. The local company will continue to represent the sheetfed company in Australia and New Zealand.

“We are very excited that both the web and sheetfed divisions of manroland have been purchased by such successful industrial enterprises for the long term future of the companies,” said Steve Dunwell. “Our customers investments in the manroland technologies of presses is secure.”

The takeover of the Offenbach-based sheetfed manufacturer will see Langley Group, which already owns two technology divisions in Germany, take on manroland’s Offenbach site, along with its roughly 860 employees.

Manroland’s insolvency administrator, Werner Schneider, says he was happy with the Langley sale, as it would bode well for the Offenbach business’s long-term success.

“Tony Langley, sole shareholder of the Langley Group, is well known as a long term investor who acts strategically,” says Schneider. “We are convinced that a lasting perspective has been found for manroland’s sheet fed printing business.”

Langley, whose company pulled in revenues of around EU € 500 million last financial year, says the restructuring of manroland’s sheet fed division should result in positive economic prospects for the business.

“We foresee very good economic prospects for manroland sheet fed following the recent re-structuring,” says Langley. “This is a world-class business with an excellent reputation and its production, and research and development facilities are superb.”

The deal was inked on 2 February, but the execution of the transaction is yet subject to the approval of the German cartel office.

This week also saw the signing of manroland’s web offset press business with the German-based L.Possehl & Co, which has taken over the manufacturer’s Augsburg site. Around 1,400 employees in the manroland web systems will find their jobs secure under the new deal, meaning just over half of the Augsburg site’s jobs could be retained.

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