By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing
There was a huge amount of confidence in Benny Landa shown by printers from around the world when they saw Nanography® unveiled at drupa in 2012. Over 400 of them saw enough in a short visit to Dusseldorf to invest in the future technology by placing a letter of intent to purchase a new Nanographic Printing® press and place a deposit to secure their place in the queue.
Fast forward two years and another major injection of confidence in Benny’s reputation and the team he has built in Landa Digital Printing, has come in the form of a €100 million minority equity investment in the business by ALTANA, the €1.76 billion German based international speciality chemicals business.
ALTANA Group at-a-glance: three of the company’s four divisions are leading suppliers of products to the print industry
While the ALTANA name may not be known by everyone in the industry, three of the company’s four divisions are leading suppliers of products to the print industry: BYK (additives and instrumentation), Actega (coatings) and Eckart (metallic pigments). In addition to their technical knowledge, ALTANA and its divisions also possess a wealth of worldwide manufacturing expertise that will come in handy in the future.
Taking the new technology Nanography from concept to commercialisation requires a substantial investment in R&D, production facilities for printing presses and NanoInk® colourants, as well as a high class service and support structure to install and maintain Nanographic Printing® presses worldwide.
Benny has been financing the whole project so far, but this next step, with ALTANA taking a minority stake in Landa Digital Printing and injecting €100 million in return, is an important stage in the development of the Nanography® process. The technical expertise of ALTANA will also be invaluable in helping commercialise Nanography, something not available from the more traditional investment market.
Of course Benny’s reputation and that of the world class team he has assembled at Landa Digital Printing was crucial for ALTANA, but with an investment of this size and scale, a very thorough due diligence process has been underway for some months.
As well as talking to the Landa management, the ALTANA team have been talking to Landa suppliers and customers, looking closely at the financial forecasts as well as employing their own consultants to stress test the assumptions that Landa had presented.
Reaffirming Nanography’s Game-Changing Potential for Printing
As you can see, this is a much more thorough investigation of Nanography than that conducted by our customers at drupa, but nevertheless the outcome was still the same. The ALTANA team came to the same conclusion that Nanographic Printing is going to be a game changer in the graphic arts industry and they wanted to play a part in that success.
We at Landa are delighted to have them on board, and happy that they share the same confidence in Benny Landa and the team as our customers two years ago. With the ALTANA investment, and equally as important – their knowledge and expertise in the industry – we are heading confidently for the first beta installations of the Landa Nanographic Printing® Presses in early 2015.