Punch takes AIM to boost the value of its graphic businesses.

Author:Hunt, Barry
Position:NARROW WEB EUROPE - Punch International, - Alternative Investment Market

Punch International, the Belgian owner of Xeikon, plans to float its graphics division on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in London before the first half of this year. It will retain its Euronext Brussels listing. The new listing will give more operational and financial independence to the group's graphics activities, which now account for nearly 50 percent of group turnover, as well as offering greater transparency for investors.

Founded as an electronics subcontractor, Punch has expanded rapidly into an international group with extensive R & D capabilities. It comprises three divisions. Conventional subcontracting and production activities for the automotive, consumer electronics and the television industries are grouped under Manufacturing Services. The Wireless Applications division includes telemetry (the use of radio waves and telephone lines), while the Graphics Division includes Strobbe Graphics (computer to plate technology), Xeikon (digital color printing) and basysPrint (computer to conventional plate technology). In September 2003 Punch acquired all of Esko Graphics' front-end activities related to digital color printing. Dick Tilanus, recently appointed as PunchGraphics' CEO, was with Philips International for 30 years...

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