Pittsfield plant included in Tokyo company's deal to buy Interprint

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PITTSFIELD — A Japan-based global printing company has announced that it has reached an agreement to purchase Interprint from its Germany-based parent firm.

Toppan Printing of Tokyo has agreed to purchase the entire Interprint division, which includes its Pittsfield plant, from Wrede Industrieholding of Arnsberg, Germany, the company stated. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of the year. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Interprint will become part of the Toppan Group but will retain its brand name. In a release, Toppan stated that Interprint will serve as an "umbrella" for the company's decor printing activities outside Japan and serve as the "foundation" for the company's future expansion in Europe and "through the rest of the global market."

Interprint, one of the world's leading printers of decor materials, has 1,300 total employees and production facilities in the U.S., Germany, Malaysia, Poland and Russia. The company's $27 million Pittsfield plant on Route 41, built 13 years ago, has 175 employees but is planning to expand to 190 by the end of the year, according to Interprint's local spokesman, Peter Stasiowski.

No changes in personnel or in the plant's operation are expected to occur in Pittsfield while the transaction is finalized.

"Everything will remain the same as it normally is, certainly through the end of 2019," Stasiowski said. "We are very optimistic about the partnership because one of the business groups of Toppan is in the same industry we are, which is decor printing. They are currently a competitor of Interprint."

In 2018, Interprint invested $12.2 million in its Pittsfield facility, a sum that included the purchase of a $10 million state-of-the-art printing press, which is expected to be up and running by the fall.

"We are the market leader in North America and they are No. 2 in terms of market share, so the combined resources of Toppan and Interprint can only strengthen," he said.

"With both companies together, we are confident that we will bring outstanding value to the industry globally," Norio Yamanaka, the director and managing executive officer of Toppan's Environmental Design subdivision, said in a release.

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Wrede, a family-owned company with roots dating to 1880, has two divisions: a decorative services division led by Interprint, which was founded in 1969, and a household products division that includes a company that is one of Europe's largest manufacturers of plastic household articles.

Wrede put Interprint on the market in December, seeking either to sell the entire division or bring in financial partners to help run it. Wrede's owner is nearing retirement age, and his children were not interested in running Interprint from a global standpoint, Stasiowski told The Eagle in February.

"From that point forward they've been actively marketing the group to a number of interested parties," Stasiowski said. "Toppan was the one that made the most sense."

"Our decision to choose Toppan as a strategic investor is a signal to all employees and customers worldwide that Interprint will continue to be a trusted partner now and in the future," Michael Sindran, Wrede's managing director, said in a release.

Toppan Printing Co., founded in 1900, is a leading global provider of integrated solutions in printing, communications, security, packaging, decor materials and electronics, according to its website. Toppan, listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, has more than 50,000 employees and $13 billion in annual sales.

"We are pleased to have achieved our top priority of finding a financially strong and reliable new shareholder for Interprint," Thomas Wrede, the chairman of Wrede Industrieholding, said in a release. "I am convinced that with Toppan by its side, Interprint is well positioned to continue its success story of international expansion."

Given the circumstances, Stasiowski said, Toppan's decision to purchase Interprint from Wrede is the best thing that could happen to the company.

"We'll learn from them, they'll learn from us," he said. "I would say that there will be some very positive synergy between Toppan and Interprint."

Business Editor Tony Dobrowolski can be reached at tdobrtowolski@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6224.


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