Both are manufacturers and service providers of web offset printing systems for newspapers, commercial products and packaging. Goss is headquartered in Durham, New Hampshire, while manroland is based in Augsburg, Germany.

Subject to regulatory approval, the merger is expected to be completed by mid 2018. 

Until the merger is approved, the two separate companies will continue business as usual with products lines unchanged.

The Contiweb business of Goss International meanwhile announced its plans to become a separate company under the ownership of American Industrial Partners, and with operations headquartered in Boxmeer, the Netherlands. Contiweb is a specialist in technologies for drying and web-handling products for printing. "Contiweb will continue its growth agenda in becoming the premier ancillary supplier for commercial and digital inkjet printing applications and press supplier for label and packaging applications," said a release. The move will happen after the Goss-manroland merger is finalized.

'Perfect sense'

With the Goss merger, manroland aims to foster R&D activities and strengthen its innovation focus, according to CEO Alexander Wasserman. "Our customers will be able to choose from a wider portfolio of products and services," he said.

"This combination will enable us to achieve extensive synergies that will help us optimally serve our customers into the future. The combination will strive to provide a best-in-class product offering and customer service," said Goss CEO Mohit Uberoi.

Private equity firm AIP acquired Goss International in 2015 from Shanghai Electric Corporation, which bought Goss in 2010.

The new company will continue its activities in web printing systems, services, consumables and system components for the newspaper, commercial, packaging and digital printing markets, according to the companies. Retrofits, upgrades and e-commerce will be major areas of focus as well.

"Since the web offset markets shrunk dramatically in recent years, this merger makes perfect sense," said Manfred Werfel, deputy CEO of WAN-IFRA and director of the World Printers Forum, in an article on the organization's website. "This is the fact-based outlook. The other question will be how well the merger will be managed and how quickly the different organizations and cultures can be integrated. Time will tell."

Goss and manroland web systems both center on web presses for newspapers and commercial applications, Werfel pointed out, and don't service the sheet-fed markets. "Together they will be able to offer a broader product range to a wider customer market. Geographically, both partners are complementing each other as well," he said.

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