Three major market developments hit the graphic arts.
Between the May and June 2005 issues, two major transactions
and one transaction-in-waiting
made the news, all three of which could
very well have an impact on your business:
EFI's planned acquisition of Vutek;
Scitex's announcement that it is looking
to sell its shares of Scitex Vision; and
Adobe's Macromedia buy.
EFI will acquire Vutek
One of the biggest change of hands to
come down the wide-format pike in some
time, EFI has signed an agreement to
acquire VUTEk, Inc. for approximately
$281 million in cash.
EFI is perhaps best known for its EFI
Fiery RIP and server, and it has an array of
printer OEMs as its customers (none of
them direct competitors to Vutek). Beyond
its core server and controller technology,
EFI also produces proofing solutions
(Best), print MIS solutions (Printcafe), and
enterprise solutions for document and
print management. It's no exaggeration to
say EFI is better known on the commercial
side of the market than the wide-format
segment"?at least up to now.
This was a natural next step for EFI,
says Guy Gecht, EFI's CEO. Vutek was the
company's first choice when it came to
which printer OEM to add to the EFI company
roster, he says: "The superwide
printing segment is a fast-growing segment
of the graphic-arts market, and we
had the privilege of looking over the market
and talking to a lot of the large players.
We knew we had some choices, but
felt Vutek was the best acquisition to
enter the market. It was the largest company
in terms of revenue, plus its UV
applications bring interesting advantages
to our customers."
EFI, says Gecht, can bring to Vutek its
software capabilities and provide financial
stability, as well as market reach into
the commercial side of the graphic market.
In turn, he says, adding Vutek will
help EFI expand what it can bring to those
commercial customers: "We'll be able to
help people find new ways of generating
business for themselves, providing more
services to their customers." In addition,
he points out, EFI will benefit from Vutek's
recurring revenue stream in ink and service
(which make up about 40% of all Vutek
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