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Heidelberg buys MBO for digital expansion

Wednesday, 03 October 2018
By Wayne Robinson

               Finishing for digital: Heidleberg buys MBO

German finishing solutions supplier MBO is being acquired by Heidelberg, in a move designed to ramp up the press giant’s presence in the digital finishing arena.

MBO has been on the market for some time, the sale price was undisclosed but was in the lower double digit Euro range, and the business will add around €50m in sales revenue to Heidelberg’s €2.42bn turnover.

MBO has around 450 staff working out of Germany and Portugal. The company manufactures high-quality post-press equipment for digital and offset printing, and through its Herzog + Heymann brand for mailing, pharmaceutical and special applications, which are new areas for Heidelberg.

Mailing, pharmeceutical and speciality solutions: H+H now part of Heidelberg

In regard to its local impact Richard Timson, managing director of Heidelberg ANZ says, “Heidelberg has  confirmed it is planning on retaining the MBO distributors, and selling products through separate sales channels, so Heidelberg will not be selling MBO directly at this stage.” In Australia and New Zealand MBO is sold through Print & Pack.

Strengthen position: Richard Timson, managing director, Heidelberg ANZ

The MBO brand will be retained, with Heidelberg operating a two pronged strategy selling both MBO and Stahlfolders. Timson says Stahl has some 80 per cent of the domestic folder market. Heidelberg is in the digital print market through its Versafire range of cutsheet printers, although most of the MBO digital post-press is aimed at the high speed continuous feed sector.

Heidelberg says that, “This decision highlights the company’s strategic focus on consistently aligning its portfolio and new business model with the growth segments of digital and packaging. Furthermore, Heidelberg aims to use this extended offering to tap into new customer groups for its entire product portfolio.”

The company also says that ‘the efficiently structured site in Portugal opens up particularly interesting opportunities for the entire Heidelberg Group’, meaning that it may use it for manufacturing more than MBO equipment.

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