One of the biggest players in the offset printing world filed for bankruptcy on Friday, making it the largest insolvency proceeding in 2 years for Germany. Manroland, KBA and Heidelberg are currently the three biggest players in the world of printing and all have had their share of financial trouble. The three produced some of the most advanced and fastest printing presses in the world. I must say that I am not surprised in the light of the world economic situation, but surprised that such a big player is going down.
Manroland cited a dramatic downturn in orders which began in earnest since the summer and has been accelerating. They stated, "Customers are finding it far more difficult to obtain financing in the aftermath of the financial crisis."
In addition to the economic downturn, press manufacturers have been struggling to compete with media that is going to the web. I visited the Manroland manufacturing facility about a year ago and was dismayed to see many of the workers had nothing to do. There was only one other press being manufactured while we were there and many of the workers were on reduced hours. However since then it seems that things have continued to go downhill.
While the court and the company still have to decide on how to proceed with this insolvency, the 6,600 workers at the plant were informed on Friday. Though bankruptcy can be a loosely used term, insolvency most accurately describes their current state. See the article Man Roland Moves To Avoid Bankruptcy for a clearer description of what insolvency means.
UPDATE: See Possehl To Buy Manroland Web Division
Why Germans Build the Best Presses
Printing Press Manufacturers of the World