Esko, a developer of integrated software and hardware solutions for the packaging, label, and wide-format sectors, announces the planned sale of its Kongsberg digital finishing business to OpenGate Capital.
The planned sale includes the original research and development facility in Kongsberg, Norway, and the production facility in Brno, Czech Republic. OpenGate Captial is a private equity firm headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with a European office in Paris and investments on five continents.
“Esko is concentrating our efforts on delivering end-to-end workflow solutions for our customers across the packaging supply chain: from brands to premedia to packaging printers and converters. With a sharpened focus, we can accelerate our delivery of integrated software and hardware technologies to help our customers digitize, automate, and connect their operations so they can realize the growth and efficiency that digital transformation offers. I am confident that OpenGate will be a strong, strategic home for Kongsberg, and that the employees who will transfer with the business will thrive in their new home,” says Mattias Byström, president of Pantone, Esko, X-Rite, and AVT.
Kongsberg, founded in 1965, was purchased by Esko (then Barco) in 1998.
Customers with Kongsberg systems can expect business as usual since most of the employees who currently serve them continue to do so as part of the new stand-alone company. Reseller relationships would transfer to Kongsberg PCS.
Stuart Fox, future president of Kongsberg PCS, would lead the new Kongsberg PCS company. Fox is one of several digital finishing experts moving from Esko to outfit the Kongsberg PCS leadership team.
“We are excited about this change and the new opportunities it brings for Kongsberg to accelerate growth with new customers,” remarks Fox.
OpenGate Capital sees opportunities for growing the Kongsberg business beyond packaging applications, expanding the product offering, and developing the tooling and consumables offering.