Printcafe to Acquire printChannel, Creo to Own Certain Portion of the Technology
Monday, October 28, 2002
Printcafe and Creo Team to Offer and Enhance Best-in-Class Solution; Strategic Partners to Jointly Develop and Support printChannel Business and Content-Related Functionality PITTSBURGH, Oct. 25 -- Printcafe Software, Inc., the operating system for print, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets and intellectual property of printChannel, Inc. While other details were not disclosed, Printcafe stated that it will not assume any printChannel obligations or liabilities other than in connection with certain customer contracts. Printcafe does not anticipate that the transaction will have a material impact on its pro forma fourth quarter financial results. Additionally, in connection with the transaction, Printcafe announced that its strategic partner, Creo Inc, will assume ownership and development responsibilities for the portion of the printChannel e-commerce technology related to content management and workflow. "We brought Creo into this in order to leverage their expertise to optimize the variable print, soft proofing, imposition and PDF creation functionality within the printChannel Classic and print I/O products," said Marc Olin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Printcafe. "We believe the printChannel technologies will fit very nicely in the Printcafe portfolio. And by teaming with Creo, we can offer, support and enhance what we believe is the best combined e-commerce and content management functionality available in the industry. "It is our intent to ensure continuity of service and support for the printChannel solutions," continued Olin. "We have already had the chance to speak with users representing an estimated 80% of the printChannel transaction volume. Despite offers of free systems from our competition, we anticipate that most of the printChannel customers will go forward with us. We plan to integrate the printChannel technology with our industry leading print management systems in the future and will involve the printChannel customers in our product development plans." Founded in March 1998, printChannel, Inc. is a provider of Web-based print procurement solutions to manufacturers, distributors, and brokers of commercial print. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, with offices in the U.S. and Europe, the printChannel system is currently in use in over 100 commercial printing organizations who, in turn, have set up over 1,200 corporate end users and tens of thousands of catalog print items for online ordering. "Printcafe has assured us that they will continue to support the printChannel products that we depend on to manage our business," said John Arai, president of VIP Litho in San Francisco. "This is the ideal solution as we now have the backing of a major organization. We can carry on with business as usual which is delivering printed products to our clients." "We are very excited that Printcafe is the buyer," said Graham Budinger, Commercial Director of B.I.G. in London, England and spokesperson for the European printChannel Users Association. "We now have the opportunity to take the best of printChannel and Printcafe technology and combine them together as we seek to increase the functionality of the system, which can in turn add value to the services offered to our customers." "Printcafe and Creo are an excellent fit for the business and the technologies we have built over the past 5 years. They have taken great care to ensure uninterrupted service to our print partners and they have a product vision that will make us the standard in the industry," said Oliver Pflug, former CEO of printChannel. Printcafe expects to complete the printChannel transaction within the next several days subject to the satisfaction of several closing conditions, including finalizing an agreement to license certain patented technology from a third party related to graphic image file conversion and prepress workflow process. To minimize any disruption during the transition, Printcafe anticipates hiring certain key printChannel staff to support the system for current printChannel customers.