Home' FLEXO Magazine : December 2014 Contents KBA FLEXOTECNICA
Why should INFO*FLEX 2015 delegates plan to network at your
Frank: Our goal is to educate printers about overall industry trends
for all processes and explain the benefits of flexography in relation.
They can learn in depth technical discussions on advanced technolo-
gy, cost savings and new application ideas, to name a few.
How and why should flexographers make a point to see your team
on those occasions?
Frank: KBA is easy to do business with and prides itself on being non
bias in terms of technology—we analyze your operation, your com-
petitors, your place in the market and assist in your growth plan.
Please provide a brief history citing significant developments and
product introductions made by your firm and comment on their
impact to flexo.
Frank: Continual and simultaneous press operation during produc-
tion, improved quality control and more intuitive systems into the
Deborah Toth: In the last year, there has been a flurry of acquisitions
surrounding the flexible packaging market. KBA did its part when it
closed the acquisition of its majority stake in Flexotecnica, part of the
Cerutti Group. In early January, KBA North America was named the
North American exclusive distributor for the new subsidiary. Once
the announcements were made, KBA worked quickly with Flexotecni-
ca to ensure a swift incorporation into the KBA system.
One of the hallmarks of KBA’s acquisition strategies is to take
advantage of the successes the new subsidiary has achieved and not
fix what is not broken. However, by focusing on the areas in which
KBA’s strength and expertise can be used to support the operations,
systems, or functions within the new company, the result is to propel
that organization forward. In this case, KBA North America was able
to energize its infrastructure to provide immediate support to the
existing customer base and to help identify new opportunities.
“Since KBA is a leader in the offset packaging marketplace, it was a
natural transition to embrace the growing flexographic market,” says
Mark Hischar, president and CEO of KBA North America. “KBA’s
strategic direction has always been ‘ink on substrate.’ As we see
declines in other markets, such as newspapers, it was a natural growth
and progression for us to move into flexography. Flexotecnica has an
outstanding reputation and it was a perfect opportunity.”
Hischar believes the industry is favoring M&A because:
• It increases a firm’s capabilities by acquiring a unique technology
rather than trying to build it themselves
• It allows a company to gain a competitive advantage over others
in the market or gain a larger market share
• It allows a company to expand into different markets and gain a
new distribution or marketing network
• It affords a company with diversification of products or service
• It offers the ability to increase sales volume by reaching a new
• It provides the company with the purchase or investment in an
asset that will bring a positive return
It was Flexotecnica’s already established manufacturing and produc-
tion facility that gained KBA’s attention. In the past, says Hischar,
manufacturers could rather inexpensively invest in new products
outside of their core competency and build a start up operation to
produce them. But due to today’s highly competitive environment, it
is much more efficient, faster and less costly to look for a merger and
acquisition to accomplish this same result, he says. This trend is being
seen in all industries due to the ever changing industrial landscape.
Due to this mindset, KBA felt that Flexotecnica would be a perfect fit
for its overall business strategy. “Since many printers/converters are
producing packaging on flexible substrates as well as paperboard, it
was a natural integration in order to better serve our existing custom-
er base and expand into a high growth flexo market,” says Hischar.
Since the acquisition, KBA has been moving quickly to integrate the
firms and strengthen the merger. Leaders in both firms have made
early significant commitment and have selected key managers to
oversee a successful merger. They’ve developed a positive cultural
alignment and integration strategies. n
DECEMBER 2014 | FLEXO 161
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