Bobst completes Cerruti acquisition

Bobst consolidates its position in the global gravure market

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Bobst Italia
Bobst Italia is headquartered in San Giorgio Monferrato in Piedmont, Italy. Photo Bobst

Cerutti mainly specialized in manufacturing rotogravure printing presses for packaging and publishing as well as specialty printing, including a flexo press for newspapers and telephone directories, and converting equipment for coating, laminating and cutting. Products include the newly redesigned R98X Evo, a 1.3m wide rotogravure press able to run at 450mpm with options for digital printing and inline lamination, cold seal, hot seal and hot melt coating.

The Cerutti company was founded in 1920 by Giovanni Cerutti and based in Casale Monferrato, not far from Bobst Italia’s new HQ. Initially he built whatever mechanical machines customers ordered, including a hay baling machine. In 1949 he built a rotogravure press for a Polish company to print PVC tablecloths, followed in 1950 by a magazine printing press for a Milan-based publisher. In 1951 Giovanni, now working with his sons Luigi and Carlo, decided to concentrate on flexible packaging and produced a rotogravure press for printing to cellophane. From there the company expanded, entering the US market in 1981 and building a flexo press for newspaper printing in 1985. Starting in 1999, Cerutti gravure presses have been used to print polymer bank notes, including £5 and £10 notes for the Bank of England.

However, the company fell into bankruptcy in October 2020 with its assets auctioned off. Both Bobst and Seconda Rinascita showed interest with Bobst eventually winning out with some magazines reporting that Bobst paid €7 million.

The acquisition includes all the assets related to Officine Meccaniche Giovanni Cerutti SpA, Cerutti Packaging Equipment SpA, the service company 24/7 Cerutti Service S.r.l, as well as the Cerutti brand and intellectual property portfolio. Bobst will also take on 30 former Cerutti staff, out of the 134 people that were employed by Cerutti last year.

Davide Garavaglia, general manager and head of Product Lines Gravure, Vacuum, Coating & Laminating at Bobst Italia, commented, “As a company, Bobst Italia is characterized by financial and social sustainability and, as such, is able to create value in the long term. Following the completion, we will be able to integrate into our organization the Cerutti technology along with its technical experts adding to our existing know-how and capabilities. It also means that we can now provide Bobst’s high level of service and support to Cerutti machines installed worldwide.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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