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Monday, 10 August 2009

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG has announced it has secured a credit line totalling €1.4 billion up until the middle of 2012. This is the finalization of the loan pledge by the German Federal and State Governments announced in June.

"Despite the difficult conditions on the financial markets, Heidelberg has succeeded in renegotiating its existing financing structure. The new financing framework will enable the company to bridge the period until the difficulties in securing loans within the financial system ease," stated Heidelberg CFO Dirk Kaliebe.

The financing package consists of three main components - a €300 million loan from the Special Program of the KfW (Reconstruction Loan Corporation) for large companies (with a 50 percent indemnity from the KfW to the banks), a €550 million loan supported by 90 percent guarantee pledges from the Federal Government and the States of Baden-Württemberg and Brandenburg, and a syndicated credit line from a consortium of banks, also for €550 million.

Heidelberg's German competitors, manroland and KBA, have both voiced concerns over this deal, and its potential to cause competitive imbalances in the press manufacturing sector.

Monday, 03 August 2009

Xerox has launched two new digital presses in its Docucolor line: the 7002 and the 8002. The presses print at 70 and 80 pages per minute respectively and can produce duplex pages on substrates up to 300 gsm.

The new presses feature in-line spectrophotometry and Xerox's Automated Color Quality Suite (ACQS), which automates previously manual tasks such as system calibration and spot colour matching.

Another key feature is Xerox's new low-gloss toner, which produces a smooth matte finish. Already in place are various in-line finishing options from 3rd parties such as GBC and Standard Horizon.

The Xerox DocuColor 7002/8002 Digital Presses are available for worldwide order taking on Aug. 17, 2009; U.S. list price starts at $245,000.
Monday, 27 July 2009

Access Imaging, a large-format vendor based in Toronto, has opened two new offices in order to expand further into the national market. The company has opened an office in Richmond, B.C. and in Montreal, Quebec, each currently with two staff members for sales and service.

Access Imaging was founded in 1993 and was the largest ColorSpan sales and service provider in Canada before the line was purchased by Hewlett-Packard. Today, they are an HP Elite Partner, dealing with Designjet, Commercial and Industrial digital presses.

John Visentin, president of Access Imaging, says the company chose the Vancouver market because of the upcoming Olympic games and the resulting need for wide-format print in the region. The Montreal location will service the growing Quebec market. Visentin says there are plans to open more locations to service the Prairie provinces.
Sunday, 26 July 2009

According to Bloomberg, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, the world's largest press manufacturer, may be in talks with manroland AG to merge the two companies.

The story stems from a report from the July 27th edition of Der Platow Brief, a Frankfurt-based financial newsletter. According to the newsletter, Allianz SE, which has a controlling interest in manroland and a 12 percent stake in Heidelberg, is pressuring the two companies to merge to protect its investments.

The Platow Brief does not cite any sources and neither company would comment on the rumour.

manroland AG was formed in 1979, but has roots in webfed technology going back to 1845. Heidelberg was founded in 1850 and controls 40 percent of the sheetfed offset press marketplace today.

Read the full Bloomberg story

Friday, 17 July 2009

Walmart will start offering printing services targeted at small businesses from its PhotoCentre locations in Canada.

"These new services are an integral part of our commitment to provide our customers the best assortment of on-demand printing services," said Crystal Taylor, National Manager for Walmart PhotoCentre.  "Whether it is photo, photo gifts or business printing items, Walmart offers our customers great products at low prices. Walmart PhotoCentre is much more than just photo printing." 

PNI Digital Media, headquartered in Vancouver, will provide the online gateway as well as templates for printing products aimed at the small business market as well as general consumers. Part of the Walmart PhotoCentre, Business Printing enables small business owners and consumers to easily order marketing and business materials using designs provided by PNI Digital Media. Products include business cards, notepads, letterhead, envelopes, fliers and posters. Walmart Business Printing also offers services such as colour, black & white copy services and coil-bound printing services.

Furthermore, the Business Printing service offers a broad range of promotional products such as customized calendars, fridge magnets, golf balls and mugs upon which companies can print their logos and other information on.

Each product is available in a range of standard sizes, and all orders are available for home or office delivery, or pick up at any of Walmart's 312 stores across Canada.

"With an average of 130,000 new small businesses opening across Canada yearly, we're excited at the growth potential of this marketplace" said Kyle Hall, Chief Executive Officer of PNI Digital Media.  "By leveraging the extensibility of our PNI Digital Media Platform, Walmart can instantly offer compelling products in a whole new market segment.  Over time we will see more services and products added to the PNI Digital Media Platform that are focused on solutions for small business." 

Wednesday, 08 July 2009

Komori Corporation resolved at a Board of Directors’ meeting held on June 29, 2009 to call for voluntary retirements.

Komori says it is fully aware of the serious impact that the worldwide recession is having on corporate-sector earnings. Under these circumstances, the company has continued to implement emergency measures aimed at securing profit improvement to overcome current harsh operating conditions. Concerned that the markets in which it operates will remain entrenched in a prolonged downturn, Komori has decided to step up efforts "to reduce fixed expenses as an adjunct to timely and robust measures."

In order to achieve a conclusive performance recovery from the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011, Komori has therefore called for employee interest in a newly established voluntary retirement scheme.
(1) Number: Approximately 130 persons
(2) Eligibility: Komori employees
(3) Application Period: July 17, 2009 to July 31, 2009
(4) Retirement Date: August 15, 2009
(5) Preferential Treatment: Payment of an additional predetermined extraordinary lump sum amount on retirement; support through an outplacement agency for those seeking reemployment
Komori Group subsidiaries in Japan also intend to offer voluntary retirement to their employees. As a result, the Group plans to reduce personnel by around 200 (including the approximate 130 Komori employees mentioned above).

Taking into consideration the extraordinary lump sum payments in connection with this call for voluntary retirements, Komori expects to incur an extraordinary loss. The amount and other details will be disclosed as and when determined.

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