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Andy Tribute on manroland's filing for insolvency

The major news in the past week has been German press manufacturer manroland filing for insolvency. This is the largest corporate failure in Germany for two years.

By Andrew Tribute
Published: November 29, 2011

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Discussion

By Robert H. Rosen on Nov 30, 2011

Sad news, indeed.
Filing for insolvency in Germany is far more serious than doing so in the USA. American Airlines' filing is a walk in the park compared with manroland's. This insolvency will be ugly, and life-threatening to manroland -- and not merely an exercise in unwinding some too-costly labor contracts...
Sadly, this has been all-to-easy to foretell. manroland has remained dependent on selling newspaper webs (not a lot of THOSE being bought these days), while maintaining only a tenuous position in the sheetfed litho market, and failing to develop a cohesive and robust digital strategy.
So all of this is sad, indeed, but hardly surprising.
Bob Rosen

 

By Clint Bolte on Dec 01, 2011

In due respect I really don't agree with Bob's assessment of manroland's sheetfed offering as simply "maintaining a tenuous position." My opinion is that it is the broadest and deepest offering of proven technology up to the 40" size available in the world giving due credance to the strong competitors of Heidelberg, KBA, and Komori.

Hypothetically speaking I could see a Chinese or an Indian firm picking up the pieces for 2 cents on the yuan with the simple business model of (1) moving essential manufacturing to their home turf and then (2) making and selling state of the art presses for their own home market for the next decade or more. They may not manufacture the complete product line for the first few years, but anything they produce will be superior to what is now home grown.

Demand and growth for analog printing in either or both of these emerging markets appears more than adequate to support such a venture for years to come.

The new owners might well leave modest resources in Germany to provide spare parts support for the thousands of roland owners/users in the rest of the world.

 

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