UK investor buys entire Manroland sheetfed arm

The Langley bid does not include Manroland Australasia, which has been taken over as part of Possehl Group’s acquisition of Manroland’s web arm.

However, Manroland Australasia will represent the new sheetfed company in Australia and New Zealand.

Steve Dunwell, managing director of Manroland Australasia, said the deal boded well for local customers.

“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. Our customers’ investments in the Manroland technologies of presses is secure,” he said.

Langley chairman and chief executive Tony Langley said: “We foresee very good economic prospects for Manroland sheetfed following the recent restructuring.

“This is a world-class business with an excellent reputation and its production and research and development facilities are superb; everything one expects of the very best of German engineering.”

The family-owned company Langley was founded in 1975 and is made up of four divisions primarily based in the UK, Germany, France and the US. It employs around 2,300 staff worldwide. In its most recent accounts it filed sales of €494.7 million ($607 million) with a pre-tax profit of €76.3 million.

Manroland administrator Werner Schneider said: “Tony Langley, sole shareholder of the Langley Group, is well known as a long-term investor who acts strategically. We are convinced that a lasting perspective has been found for Manroland’s sheetfed printing business.”

The sale, the value of which is undisclosed, is subject to the approval of the German cartel office, which is expected within the next weeks. According to Schneider, the jobs of 824 staff in Offenbach will be secured by the deal, with the remaining 947 posts eliminated.

Meanwhile, Augsburg’s sale to Possehl – also just confirmed – has saved 1,510 jobs, with 741 redundancies. In addition, 348 jobs have been cut at Manroland’s Plauen site, which is still being run by the administrator, with 320 people retained.

Schneider said that this remaining facility may also be sold to Possehl, although this was only one possibility. Possehl chief executive Uwe Lüders said: “We have not had time to consider it sufficiently, but we will look at it soon.”

The surprise deal for the sheetfed arm was unveiled as the sale of Manroland’s Augsburg plant to the €2 billion ($2.5 billion) turnover Possehl Group was confirmed.

At a press conference held in Augsburg, administrator Werner Schneider confirmed that the Manroland name will continue at the two separate sides of the business.

The Augsburg web offset business acquired by Possehl will become Manroland Web Systems, while the sheetfed operation acquired by Langley will become Manroland Sheetfed.

Schneider decline to reveal details of the sale price for either deal, but did say that it was “significantly higher” than €100 million in total. Both of the new companies expect to be profitable going forward, having been “right-sized” for the needs of the market.

This article originally appeared at printweek.com

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