Flint sells Xsys

Flint is selling off its Xsys prepress division to the private equity firm Lone Star,  in order to concentrate on its packaging inks and digital printing businesses. Xsys specializes in the development and supply of printing plates, sleeves and adapters, and pre-press equipment to the packaging industry. The division combines Flint’s flexo wing and Xeikon’s prepress business. It has sales of around £258m and 600 employees.

This Xsys Nyloflex FTM Digital plate is designed for printing with water-based inks.

Now, this sale is hardly a surprise since Flint set up the Xsys division at the beginning of this year specifically to refocus its efforts on its core inks business alongside the Xeikon digital printers. Since then a Reuters report over the summer suggested that Flint was talking with potential buyers, though the same report also noted that private equity buyers were “falling out of love” with plastic packaging businesses because of environmental, social and governance issues around the use of plastics.

Antoine Fady will give up his role as CEO of Flint and instead become CEO of Xsys. Dagmar Schmidt will be the chief operating officer, with Martin Sauer as chief financial officer. As a result, Steve Dryden will be promoted from chief operating officer at Flint to become the new of CEO of the Flint Group.

Fady called the sale “the next logical step for Flint Group and Xsys,” adding: “It will further enable the Xsys business to advance as a standalone, best in class, full solutions provider to the flexographic and letterpress prepress industries, with tailor-made solutions developed for each market segment and customer type. We look forward to working with Lone Star, whose experience and track record will be of great benefit as we move Xsys forward in this next phase.”

The Flint Group press release noted that the company would benefit from the additional funds from the sale though neither side has disclosed terms of the transaction. The deal is still subject to the usual closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. In the meantime, you can find more information from Flint Group, Xsys and Lone Star.

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