Heidelberg sells Belgian printing chemicals production site

Heidelberg has announced the sale of its Belgian production site for printing chemicals in a move towards its planned focus on core activities and portfolio adjustments.

According to the company, the sale of the business unit has been made to DruckChemie, a subsidiary of Langley Hold-ings PLC, UK, generating a purchase price of about €20.5 million.

DruckChemie is a supplier of specialty chemicals, consumables and services for the printing and graphics industries with subsidiaries in Europe and South America, while Langley Holdings is an international engineering group that produces capital goods to a wide range of industries worldwide, including the printing industry.

The sale of the Belgian production site includes the companies BluePrint Products NV and Hi-Tech Chemicals BV, located in Kruibeke, Belgium. The site develops and manufactures high-quality printing chemicals in flexographic and offset printing, primarily for the packaging and commercial markets.

However, Heidelberg mentioned that it will continue to offer these printing chemicals as part of its overall consumables strategy.

The company also confirmed that along with the sale, the site and a total number of around 40 employees will be transferred to DruckChemie.

“With the withdrawal from the production of printing chemicals, we are making good progress with our realignment and concentration on our core activities,” Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer said.

“We will use the funds freed up by this to safeguard our liquidity in times of the Covid-19 pandemic and to push ahead with strategic investments in the future on the path of our digital transformation.

“I am delighted to welcome BluePrint Products and Hi-Tech Chemicals to the Druck Chemie family. This acquisition is an excellent fit and will further strengthen our offering to the print industry,” Langley Holdings PLC board director William Langley added.

Heidelberg has been streamlining its business following the effects of Covid-19, with the company also selling its Gallus business in July 2020.

Through the systematic and swift implementation of its transformation strategy, Heidelberg said it has strengthened its position in the first half of its 2020/2021 financial year of April 1 to September 30, 2020.

Heidelberg also recently provided an update of its planned site and structural optimisation measures.

The business has sold an area of around 130,000 square metres at its Wiesloch/Walldorf siteto the VGP Group, which it says will create a new, modern industrial and commercial park at the location.

VGP is a family-run European developer, operator and owner of high-quality logistics and commercial properties. The company has a fully integrated business model and many years of experience along the entire value chain, from land acquisition and development to asset and property management.

The Wiesloch/Walldorf site covers a total area of around 840,000 square metres. Of this, around 270,000 square metres are expected to be marketed in the course of the planned site and structure optimisation. The partnership with VGP is the first step in this project.

“By using space more efficiently, we will save considerable costs at Heidelberg in the future. In addition, we will use the funds this frees up to strengthen our liquidity in times of the Covid-19 pandemic and to press ahead with strategic investments for the future on the path of our digital transformation,” Hundsdörfer said.

“In VGP, we have found an experienced real estate developer as a partner who will market the space at the Wiesloch/Walldorf site in a future-proof manner in close coordination with the municipalities and Heidelberg.”

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