Chinese Looking To Buy Manroland

Shanghai Electric has expressed
interest in buying Manroland sheetfed
Already the vultures are circling overhead.  Manroland has bared its financial condition to the world and there are interested buyers.  The Shanghai Electric Company (SEC) has expressed interest in the sheetfed division of Manroland.  Press manufacturer KBA has also expressed interest in the company.  CEO Claus Bolza-Sch√ľnemann of KBA has been quoted in a German daily as saying, "we stated our interest to the insolvency administrator."  However there as of yet have been no formal negotiations with Manroland.

Manroland filed for insolvency last month in one of the largest business failures in Germany for the past two years.  While bankruptcy differs from insolvency (click here for explanation), the two are sometimes used synonymously  to mean one thing: the company cannot pay its bills and is in desperate need of bailout.  Since the filing, Manroland has desperately been seeking revenue and government support to keep operations up and running and has had some success.

Shanhai Electric
Many analysts believe that Shanghai Electric is looking to be the largest press manufacturer  in the world.  To achieve this, it is following a pattern that has played out a number of times for the Chinese giant.  Not long ago, the company purchased Goss International, a chief competitor of Manroland.  Goss had itself spent time in bankruptcy protection before being bought out by Shanghai Electric.  Sheetfed printer Akiyama was also in a similar situation and was bought out by the Chinese giant.  Acquiring even part of Manroland would give Shanghai Electric a real competitive advantage.

German press manufacturer KBA is in a
good position to profit from such an acquisition
While not having stellar sales in the web print market, KBA has found itself in a unique situation where it is actually a profitable company amidst the worldwide slump in press sales.  In fact, profits are forecast as the company has exploited unique niche markets in packaging and security printing.  

Cash Is King
In these tough economic times, cash will likely be the winner as more credit is an unlikely solution.  Will it be Chinese Shanhai Electric Company or German KBA?  Will it be someone else?  Stand by as the drama unfolds.

UPDATE:  See Possehl To Buy Manroland Web Division

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1 comment:

  1. Bill - Nice insight about Shanghai Electric.

    When we were at All In Print China last month, Shanghai Electric had the largest booths in a multiples of the 7 exhibit halls.