Müller Martini is buying out the binding and bookline business from Kolbus, including the servicing and spare parts business for all Kolbus bookbinding systems installed worldwide.
The 250 employees in the bookbinding department in Rahden, Germany, will be taken over by Müller Martini, becoming a new department, Müller Martini Buchbinde-Systeme. The staff in the packaging and case maker segments will continue to work for Kolbus.
How the change will affect the distribution of Kolbus equipment along with maintenance in Australia still remains to be seen.
Roman Beeler, sales manager of Müller Martini Australia says, “It is early days. It only happened last Friday and we still have yet to determine how it will go forward. It is a big project and Kolbus is trying to keep everyone happy. How operations in individual countries proceed will have to be figured out. I just saw the press release from the factory and it was quite a big surprise. Kolbus will be remaining but in a different role. We will have to wait and see what happens and I probably will have a clearer idea of what is going on in a week or 10 days.”
[Related: Eastlink Bookbinding to open doors]
Carsten Wendler, managing director of Print & Pack Australia & New Zealand, the local distributor of Kolbus bookbinding equipment declined to comment.
Bruno Müller, CEO of Müller Martini says, “Structural change has changed the graphic arts industry in recent years and our market has become much smaller and versatile at once. Customers need innovations on a regular basis, which have to be financed with lower sales quantities. Above all, our customers benefit from the efficiency gains bringing together the bookbinding activities.
“This secures the future of the softcover and hardcover business of both the customers and the two machine manufacturers – and thus also jobs in the graphic arts industry.”
Kai Büntemeyer, CEO of Kolbus says, “In recent years, the packaging market was growing consistently. We see a good potential and will vigorously expand our current activities in this business. There are also very good perspectives in the segment of component manufacturing for sophisticated mechanical engineering companies including Müller Martini Buchbinde-Systeme GmbH and Kolbus Luxury Packaging.”
Müller Martini was founded in 1946 and currently operates with 1800 employees in development and production of industrial system solutions for print finishing.
Kolbus was established in 1775.
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