Editions   North America | Europe | Magazine


Creo Acquires Plate Manufacturing Facility, Launches Creo Positive Thermal Plate

Press release from the issuing company

- see complete FREE analysis from WTT's Gail Kailing and John Zarwan http://members.whattheythink.com/home/ge03reports030916_2.cfm VANCOUVER, British Columbia--Sept. 15, 2003--Creo Inc. announced today that it will manufacture, sell and support its own thermal printing plate. The Creo Positive Thermal Plate ("PTP") uses the company's own plate technology and is now commercially available in North America and Europe. The Creo PTP plate will be first exhibited at the Graph Expo 2003 tradeshow in Chicago, IL, later this month. Creo will use its existing channels and global service infrastructure for the sale, distribution and support of its printing plate. "The introduction of the Creo plate represents the culmination of a long-term effort to develop our own plate and developer technology as well as characterize imaging behavior and optimize on-press performance of the plate. We now have a comprehensive intellectual property portfolio, underpinning a mature and well-tested product," stated Amos Michelson, chief executive officer of Creo. "We have supplied our plate emulsion under license to several manufacturers who have commercially produced and sold plates under their own brand names over the last 18 months. Printers in Europe and North America have been using those plates in daily production. These same suppliers are contracted to supply portions of our future plate requirements in various regions. More recently, Creo has leveraged its existing sales, distribution and service organization to enable logistics and field support for the new plate. We engaged a number of customers in North America and Europe in a confidential pilot program to assess our delivery and support capability. Those customers have used the Creo plate in daily production with all delivery, logistics and support handled by Creo." "Our customers' experience to date has shown that the Creo Positive Thermal Plate has high resolution, low water consumption and quick rollup. We believe that the Creo PTP plate is suitable for long-run lengths without pre- or post-baking; offers wide processing latitude; and is well suited for most commercial print applications," continued Mr. Michelson. Creo has also announced its intention to acquire its own manufacturing capacity for lithographic printing plates to augment contracted capacity from third-party manufacturers. On September 11, 2003, the Creo board of directors approved an agreement to acquire a plate production facility based in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, from First Graphics (Pty) Limited, for an aggregate purchase price of US$11.25 million. The transaction is anticipated to close by the end of the calendar year and is subject to the execution of a definitive agreement and the receipt of any required statutory and regulatory approvals. Upon closing, the acquisition is expected to be accretive to Creo's earnings within two quarters. The Creo plates will be produced through a combination of wholly-owned and outsourced manufacturing. The Pietermaritzburg facility has a modern, recently installed plate manufacturing line that is now producing the Creo PTP plate. The total capacity from these arrangements is sufficient to meet anticipated demand for Creo plates for some time. Customers using CTP systems require a supply of compatible pre-sensitized aluminum printing plates and existing and future customers of Creo will continue to have the broadest possible selection of qualified digital media. For many years, Creo has qualified suitable plates from a variety of plate suppliers and in some cases has bundled those plates with equipment and software to provide a complete packaged solution to existing customers. In the last two years Creo has increased the number of CTP systems sold bundled with plates and now sells approximately 20 percent of new systems in North America as part of a bundle. Creo will continue to support all existing qualified plates and to qualify new plates from other vendors and is firmly committed to its digital media partnerships for plates as well as thermal proofing media. "The digital plate market is the fastest growing portion of the estimated US$3 billion worldwide market for printing plates. Creo has the largest installed base of any CTP vendor and our customers collectively represent the largest market for digital plates. By selling printing plates as well as equipment, software, services and support, we expect to substantially increase our total addressable market and improve our competitive capability to offer complete end-to-end solutions to our existing and future customers. We believe that by utilizing our infrastructure to sell and support end-to-end solutions, we will gain substantial operating leverage," concluded Mr. Michelson. - see complete FREE analysis from WTT's Gail Kailing and John Zarwan http://members.whattheythink.com/home/ge03reports030916_2.cfm