Landa Digital Printing opens next chapter in company history

Successful completion of USD 300 million financing round provided by SKion

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Benny Land
Benny Land

Landa Digital Printing has announced the completion of a USD 300 million equity financing, led by private investment firm SKion GmbH and joined by specialty chemicals group ALTANA, an already-existing shareholder. Both SKion and ALTANA are wholly-owned by German entrepreneur Susanne Klatten.

The proceeds from the financing will be used for expansion of the company’s infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities, as well as for ongoing R&D and market development.

“My investment reflects my confidence in the technological potential of Landa Digital Printing. Together we can spark the market demand for digital printing solutions,” said Klatten. “To be part of this new chapter in the history of printing also means a significant entrepreneurial move for me.”

Benny Landa, founder and chairman of Landa Digital Printingsaid, “We are delighted with our longstanding relationship with ALTANA and are extremely pleased to broaden that partnership to include SKion, with whom we have a shared vision. This substantial financing is one of the foundations we are laying for accelerated growth, now that we have started shipping our Nanographic Printing Presses to customers around the world.”

ALTANA CEO Martin Babilas added, “We are excited about our partnership with Landa Digital Printing that started in 2014 when Nanography was still in its early days. Since then we have supported Landa Digital Printing in finding new, innovative material science solutions for digital printing, and we are looking forward to doing so also in the future.”

The investment is in addition to the over USD 400 million previously invested by Benny Landa and ALTANA in Landa Digital Printing. Landa continues to be the company’s majority shareholder with 54 %. ALTANA and SKion together now own 46% of the company with ALTANA continuing to hold a stake of 33.3%.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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