Are you feeling relieved that the investor search for MBO is now over?
In Komori we have gained a very strong partner. The Komori Corporation is a technology-oriented and future-focussed company. Our portfolios complement one another perfectly and result in very clear synergies.

How did employees react to the message?
The employees have responded very positively to the news. The Komori Corporation is a company that plans for the long term. We’re talking about medium and long-term management plans here. We are no longer very used to this at all in our fast-moving times and in our rapidly changing industry. This gives our employees a great sense of security.

What have the reactions been from customers?
Our business partners have reacted very positively. Our customers now know that MBO has a stable future. This is associated with the certainty that an investment in MBO folding machines is a safe decision. There has been a lot of speculation – propagated by who knows who – regarding the future of the MBO group. These have now been put to rest.

What will be the impact of the takeover by Komori for MBO?

  • For the Oppenweiler site?
  • For the site in Portugal?
  • For the sales structure in Germany and worldwide?
  • For the personnel structure
  • For management?

The MBO and Herzog+Heymann brands will continue to exist. Both brands have been established for many years and enjoy a great level of trust in the marketplace. The Komori Cooperation will also benefit from this. In return, we will benefit from Komori’s strong sales position in the Asian region. We anticipate significantly higher market penetration here. In addition, all three production sites of the MBO Group will be retained (MBO Germany, MBO Portugal and Herzog+Heymann). The usual contact persons and the same management team at MBO will also be retained.

Negotiations with Heidelberg failed last year due to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. In the case of Heidelberg, it would have meant a direct competitor taking over the company; users had already expressed their concern about a monopoly being formed in the folding machine sector. With Komori, the MBO portfolio complements the company’s range in the commercial sector. In retrospect, is this the best solution for MBO?
Looking back, it is difficult to judge. We focus on the future as a general principle, and we will shape the future positively and successfully alongside Komori. We are highly optimistic of being able to learn from one another, exploit synergies and achieve great things together.

Nevertheless, the deal with the Japanese company Komori is being perceived negatively, particularly in comments online and on social networks. What opportunities do you expect to gain from the takeover by Komori?
I don’t get involved with the comments on the web. We are committed to our customers, our employees, our distribution partners and our suppliers, and we take this very seriously. Komori opens up sales territories for us in Asia, and especially in Japan, which we previously had little or no access to. There will also be clear synergies in the area of networking/IoT. We successfully launched our Datamanager onto the market several years ago. The Datamanager is a software package for data analysis and order planning in the postpress area. The open interfaces of the Datamanager have always been very important to us. Now, we can take the next step and dock on easily to KP-Connect from Komori.

On the flipside of this, what opportunities will arise for Komori from the acquisition of MBO?
Komori has so far focused on the production of high-quality offset printing presses and what is referred to as print engineering service provider business (PESP). The acquisition of the MBO Group will enable Komori to expand its portfolio and market the entire process chain from print to finishing processes as well as IoT-based cloud solutions such as KP-Connect worldwide in the future. The acquisition should also help them enter into the field of post-press solutions for job printing – a new area of business for the Komori Corporation.

The MBO Group together with Herzog+Heymann had announced its attendance at Drupa as part of the Postpress Alliance together with Baumann Maschinenbau Solms, Bograma, Hohner, Perfecta and Wohlenberg. Will it stay that way or has a joint appearance with Komori already been planned?
Both. The MBO Group will be present at Drupa 2020 on three exhibition stands. We will have an MBO folding machine on display at the Komori stand in hall 15. This will be connected to the MIS KP-Connect.

In addition, we will be demonstrating our combined technological expertise on a 1400 m² stand in Hall 16, together with our partners Baumann Maschinenbau Solms, Bograma, Hohner, Perfecta and Wohlenberg, as part of the Postpress Alliance. Under the slogan “we connect”, the Postpress Alliance with its comprehensive service portfolio ranging from data transfer from the MIS, cutting, folding, punching, perfect binding or wire stitching, to the processing of mailing and outsert systems, covers virtually the entire workflow with the corresponding processes in a customer’s company.

In addition, Herzog+Heymann will be showing its components and units at the stand of its partner company, Techni-Fold, in Hall 6.

Are there already concrete plans as to what further technological developments can be expected from MBO?
The MBO Group will continue to be a technological leader in the field of finishing processes. However, we will also continue to drive forward the topics of robotics and automation very strongly. We are encouraged by the success we have already achieved here with our collaborative CoBo-Stack stacking robot. The robot was launched onto the market less than a year ago and has exceeded all our expectations. We are constantly developing it further, and new functions and options are constantly being added. The CoBo-Stack has enjoyed a very high level of acceptance in the marketplace right from the off. We will continue to build on this.