Bruno Muller, CEO, Muller Martini, said, “In the recent years, our market has become much smaller and more versatile. Customers need innovations on a regular basis, which have to be financed with lower sales quantities. Above all, our customers benefit from the efficiency gains bringing together the bookbinding activities. The market changes are directly affecting our customers, which are faced with new business models like digitization. By combining the potentials for success like personnel, knowhow, technology and infrastructure of the two companies, Muller Martini can provide the market with innovative solutions in the long term. This secures the future of the softcover and hardcover business of both the customers and the two machine manufacturers.”
The Kolbus perfect binding and bookline business, based at Rahden in Germany, and intellectual property will be transferred to Muller Martini Buchbinde-Systeme, a new business unit formed at the site that will be integrated into the Muller Martini group.
The 250 Kolbus employees working at the site will be transferred to Muller Martini under their existing employment conditions. The transfer will be completed on 30 April 2018, until which point Kolbus said it will be “business as usual”.
Kolbus will continue to be headed up by chief executive Kai Büntemeyer. Retaining around 900 staff, Büntemeyer said the company will now “vigorously expand” its current activities in the packaging market and continue to focus on case making, parts manufacturing and its foundry business.
Kolbus had signalled its increasing focus on the packaging market at Drupa 2016, with the world premiere of its BoxLine system.
India has around 100 Kolbus perfect binders and hard case maker and more than 90% of these are pre-owned.