Kodak snaps up German printers

Eastman Kodak is to acquire two lines of business from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, the world’s largest maker of offset printing machines.

Eastman Kodak is to acquire two lines of business from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, the world’s largest maker of offset printing machines.

Kodak will purchase Heidelberg’s 50% interest in NexPress Solutions LLC, a 50/50 joint venture of Kodak and Heidelberg that makes digital colour printing systems, and the equity of Heidelberg Digital LLC, a maker of digital black-and-white printing systems.

Kodak also will acquire NexPress GmbH, Heidelberg’s German subsidiary, and certain inventory and assets held by Heidelberg’s regional operations.

Under the terms of the acquisition, the companies agreed to use a performance-based ‘earn-out formula’ whereby Kodak will make periodic payments to Heidelberg over a two-year period, if certain sales goals are met. If all sales goals are met during the next two calendar years ending December 31, 2005, Kodak will pay a maximum of $150 million in cash for the companies.

Upon closing, Kodak plans to operate the NexPress and Heidelberg Digital subsidiaries as a combined business, under the leadership of Venkat Purushotham, President and CEO of NexPress.

Earlier this year, Kodak completed the purchase of Scitex Digital Printing, a developer of variable-data inkjet printing, and renamed the company Kodak Versamark.