25 July 2022

Koenig & Bauer strengthens presence in corrugated board market

Koenig & Bauer, the printing press manufacturer, has acquired 49 percent stake in Celmacch Group, manufacturers of high board line flexo presses and rotary die-cutters for the corrugated board industry. The two companies signed a contract to collaborate on development and marketing activities on the growth market for corrugated board. Celmacch will operate under the name Koenig & Bauer Celmacch in future.

Corrugated board offers unrivalled versatility for a wide range of packaged goods, and accounts for the largest share of the overall market in terms of value, the company said. Alongside classic corrugated boxes, various forms of secondary and tertiary packaging are important fields for the packaging industry. And their significance continues to grow thanks to e-commerce. What’s more, corrugated board is an eye-catching advertising medium at the point of sale. At the same time, it is environment-friendly, easy to dispose of, and an exemplary circular product with an average recycling quota of 80 per cent.  
 
Dr Andreas Pleßke, CEO of Koenig & Bauer, underlined: ‘Corrugated board aligns with the increasing sustainability demands of the packaging industry, not least in the context of the European Green Deal, and is therefore also an expression of our “Exceeding Print” strategy.’ 
 
Celmacch has gathered over 40 years of experience on the growth market for corrugated board, a segment that Koenig & Bauer also caters to with its complementary CorruCut and CorruFlex presses. Ever since the relaunch of the Chroma product family in 2019 in particular, Celmacch has built up a standing as a developer and manufacturer of high board line flexo presses and rotary die-cutters. 
 
Luca Celotti, general manager of Celmacch, added: ‘Celmacch has been looking for a partner for long-term cooperation and has found one in Koenig & Bauer. Our existing product portfolio ideally positions it for further growth. Koenig & Bauer provides us with access to a worldwide sales and service network with more than 2,000 staff. This combination will enable us to establish a more international and therefore scalable market presence. As the founding family, we want to actively shape this path together with our new partner and further increase the production capacities at the Desenzano del Garda site.’ 
 
The Chroma Evo series from Celmacch represents a competitive starting point for ventures in the world of modular rotary die-cutters and flexo printing presses, while the Chroma High Tech models satisfy demands for high levels of automation. The CorruCUT and CorruFLEX presses from Koenig & Bauer stand for high performance in the production of both die-cut corrugated boxes and printed corrugated sheets, and define the standards in terms of automation and performance. There are plans to unite all the different models under the shared product name Chroma. This will make Koenig & Bauer Celmacch the only supplier with presses to cover all price and performance classes.  
 
Koenig & Bauer executive board member Christoph Müller, said: ‘We have arrived on the market for direct post-printing on corrugated board. The partnership with Celmacch will allow us to continue to drive innovations in this segment and further strengthen our market position.’ 
 
Dr Stephen Kimmich, CFO at Koenig & Bauer, explained: ‘Ever since the early 1990s, Koenig & Bauer has been building a strong presence in the growing packaging market with its acquisitions. I am convinced that our two companies complement each other perfectly in terms of expertise. Our collaboration as partners is the best prerequisite for successfully expanding our joint business on the corrugated board market.’ 
 
The offices of Koenig & Bauer Celmacch and its approximately 50 employees will remain in Desenzano, Italy. The Celmacch Group is a financially healthy company and has increased its turnover to around 20 million EUR (20.414 million USD) since the product relaunch in 2019. For the first phase of the partnership, the focus will be placed on joint sales and service activities, further product development and expansion of the company’s assembly capacities. Koenig & Bauer has secured options to successively increase its stake in Celmacch Group beyond the initial 49 percent holding.  
 
Acquisition of the shares in Celmacch Group remains subject to official approval from the Italian authorities that oversee foreign direct investment. The parties have agreed not to disclose further details of the transaction. The final closing is anticipated for September 2022. 

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