Heidelberg to sell the Gallus Group to Swiss-based Benpac Group

Heidelberg is set to sell the Gallus Group to Benpac, a Stan-based group of companies in Switzerland, which offers engineering, IT solutions services in finance, corporate management, strategy and purchasing, and packaging technology.

23 Jul 2020 | By Noel D'Cunha

The Gallus LabelFire showcased during Gallus Innovation Days 2018 at the plant in St Gallan, Switzerland

Heidelberg is expected to generate earning in the mid two-digit million-Euro in the agreed deal purchase price of Euro 120-million. The transaction, subject to other condition precedents, is set to take effect before the end of 2020, and will allow Heidelberg to pursue the company’s realignment, and focus on its core business of sheetfed printing while facing up to the challenging situation created by Covid-19.

Stefan Plenz, a former member of the Heidelberg management board is presently a board member at Benpac and Christof Naier, former senior executive at Gallus who exited Gallus, is currently the CEO of Benpac Holding.

With the transaction, Benpac will assume ownership of five sites in Germany and Switzerland – Gallus Holding in St Gallen, Gallus Ferd Rüesch AG in St Gallen, Gallus Druckmaschinen GmbH in Langgöns, Heidelberg Web Carton Converting (WCC) in Weiden in der Oberpfalz, and Menschick Trockensysteme GmbH in Renningen, and a total of some 430 employees working in these five sites.

Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer, said, “We are selling our narrow-web rotary and rotary flexographic printing activities to focus more closely on innovative solutions for the entire printed sheet value chain. We will be retaining our in-house digital expertise and, by collaborating with Benpac on the Gallus Labelfire, we will also be making further progress with the digitisation of conventional presses. At the same time, we will remain a major supplier on the growing label market with our sheetfed offset presses.”

Ferdinand Rüesch showing a sample produced on the Digital Embellishment Unit (DEU) fitted on the LabelFire during the Gallus Innovation Days 2018

Both Heidelberg and Benpac will continue to work together closely on the Gallus Labelfire digital label press as well as continue to manage the sales and service of the Gallus portfolio in close cooperation after the takeover.

Speaking to PrintWeek, Samir Patkar, president at Heidelberg India, said that this acquisition by Benpac will be good for Gallus business, as there will be much more investment focuses from Benpac. “Heidelberg continues to be sales and service global partner. It will be best of both worlds.”

Patkar added, “For the customers in India and many parts of the world it will be business as usual. If anything, our customers will benefit more from the proven quality and reliability of the world's largest service network in the print media industry.”