Koenig & Bauer acquires 49% stake in Celmacch

Koenig & Bauer and Celmacch Group, one of the leading manufacturers of high board line flexo presses and rotary die-cutters for the corrugated board industry, signed a contract to collaborate on development and marketing activities on the growth market for corrugated board.

25 Jul 2022 | By Rahul Kumar

Celmacch's Chroma product name will become overall brand

With this, Celmacch will operate under the name Koenig & Bauer Celmacch.

Corrugated board offers versatility for a wide range of packaged goods, and accounts for the largest share of the overall market in terms of value. Alongside classic corrugated boxes, various forms of secondary and tertiary packaging are important fields for the packaging industry. Their significance continues to grow thanks to eCommerce. At the same time, it is environment-friendly, easy to dispose of, and a circular product with an average recycling quota of 80%. 

Dr Andreas Pleßke, CEO of Koenig & Bauer, said, “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 an excellent standing as a developer and manufacturer of high board line flexo presses and rotary die-cutters satisfying exacting technological demands, and already supplies numerous major international packaging producers, primarily on its local markets. 

Luca Celotti, general manager of Celmacch, said, “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.

“We have arrived on the market for direct post-printing on corrugated boards. The partnership with Celmacch will allow us to continue to drive innovations in this segment and further strengthen our market position,” said Koenig & Bauer executive board member Christoph Müller. 

Dr Stephen Kimmich, CFO at Koenig & Bauer, added: “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 euros 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% holding.