Heidelberg sells Docufy software subsidiary to Elvaston Capital Management

Raises EBITDA margin target for FY 2021/22

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Heidelberg
Heidelberg sells Docufy software subsidiary to Elvaston Capital Management. Photo Heidelberg

As part of its continued focus on its cloud-based digitization strategy in its core business, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) has sold the software provider Docufy GmbH, Bamberg, to the investment company Elvaston Capital Management, Berlin. A corresponding purchase agreement was signed recently. In December 2019, Heidelberg had bundled its own peripheral software activities at Docufy, which usefully complemented Docufy’s existing portfolio.

Unchanged focus on cloud-based digitization strategy in the core business

This step will allow Heidelberg to further advance its unique positioning in cloud and data-based software and the corresponding range of different products and services tailored to customers in its core business. “As part of our portfolio analysis and concentration on our core activities, we have come to the conclusion that Docufy’s planned strategy for the future can be supported in a more targeted manner by a new partner. We are focusing our software activities on the expansion of cloud-based applications and platforms for the printing industry,” said Rainer Hundsdörfer, chief executive officer of Heidelberg. “We will use the funds freed up by the sale to drive forward strategic future investments on the path of our digital transformation.”

Docufy is a provider of information management software that develops and sells high-quality software products and solutions as well as consulting and implementation services, training, and SaaS services. Its customers include well-known, internationally operating industrial companies from German-speaking countries, including several DAX-listed companies. The Docufy Software Suite enables companies to optimize their processes, from the acquisition of information to the processing and targeted distribution to the application of the right information, and thus to contribute to the sustainable success of the company.

“We are looking forward to realizing our Docufy 2025 strategy with the help of Elvaston,” said Stefan Donat, chief executive officer of Docufy GmbH. “This will allow us to further expand our offering for our existing and future customers.” With around 120 employees, Docufy counts several major industrial companies among its customers and, like Heidelberg, will continue to support them in implementing their digitization strategies. Docufy’s new strategy, based on the expansion of the Docufy software suite into an Industry 4.0 InfoHub, the establishment of new strategic partnerships, and the internationalization of business activities, has aroused great interest among customers and existing partners. The consistent realization of this approach is now ensured by Elvaston.

EBITDA margin of 7-7.5% expected for full-year 2021/22

Heidelberg expects this transaction to result in an extraordinary gain on disposal of more than EUR 20 million (approximately Rs 173 crore). The sale is effective as of 31 August 2021. Due to the overall expected income from asset management as part of the corporate transformation, which will be higher than was foreseeable at the beginning of the financial year, Heidelberg is raising its forecast for the operating result for the full financial year 2021/22. The company now expects an EBITDA margin in a range of 7-7.5% (previously: 6-7%).

“We are continuing to systematically streamline our structures and focus the portfolio on the core growth areas. This creates further financial scope for Heidelberg,” said chief financial officer Marcus A. Wassenberg. “Together with the good order situation, we can raise the forecast for the current year despite increased material costs.”

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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