ARMOR and IIMAK Join Forces

Written October 6, 2021

Categories: FP News, GP News, Graphics Production, Industrial Applications & Printed Electronics, News

The ARMOR Group announces the acquisition of IIMAK (International Imaging Materials). The combined Thermal Transfer activity will be called ARMOR-IIMAK with consolidated revenues of more than $400 million, firmly establishing it as the global market leader in the design and production of thermal transfer ribbons for the printing of variable traceability data on labels and flexible packaging. 

Hubert de Boisredon, Chairman and CEO of the ARMOR Group, says, "Convinced of its strategic importance, I have actively pursued this merger and am especially proud today to be able to announce this acquisition. Our main objective will be to unify our strengths in order to benefit our customers, partners and employees."

With a history for both companies dating back to the 1980s through a shared license from the Japanese company Fujicopian until 1998, ARMOR has enjoyed strong growth in Europe, with IIMAK similarly benefiting in the US. ARMOR-IIMAK now has 1,650 employees producing over 2.5bn sq. m of thermal transfer ribbon. Christian Lefort, who only recently joined the ARMOR Group, will be leading the entity as CEO of ARMOR-IIMAK.

He says, "The paths of our two companies, both historic market leaders in thermal transfer technology, cross once again and will now be irrevocably united. This merger will benefit all our customers and external partners, as well as our employees. I am both delighted and honored to lead this merger with the full support of everyone at IIMAK and ARMOR."

Doug Wagner, CEO of IIMAK, has been appointed president of ARMOR-IIMAK Americas. He will play a key role in the integration process and in the realization of the synergies within the new entity, especially in the Americas. 

Wagner says, "I am pleased we were able to make this historic merger a reality.  The combination of our two companies results in a strong global organization which will create new value for our customers and new opportunities for our employees. We are excited to be part of this new journey as ARMOR-IIMAK”.

It should also be stressed that the two complementary companies are joining forces with multiple objectives, including:
• Strengthening their presence in North and South America;
• Offering customers the most comprehensive product portfolio on the market; 
• Leveraging joint technological development to enhance existing products and rapidly development new ones; and
• Reducing their carbon footprint through optimized logistics.

Through this merger, the new entity will enjoy global industrial coverage via three coating sites, one in each of its regions (Americas, Asia and Europe), and nearly 20 slitting sites. 

ARMOR purchased IIMAK from its controlling shareholder ACON Investments (“ACON”).  Anjali Jolly, partner of ACON, comments, “We want to thank the management team of IIMAK under the leadership of CEO Doug Wagner for a great partnership during our three years of ownership. We wish ARMOR-IIMAK much future success.” 

This deal has been conducted with support from PwC and JonesDay, and also includes the Fluid Inks industrial activities of IIMAK but excludes their medical contract manufacturing business, iiMED. The financial terms of the transaction are confidential.

de Boisredon concludes, "I am absolutely delighted with this major acquisition, signaling a new dawn for the whole of ARMOR. It opens up new horizons throughout the Group, not only for ARMOR-IIMAK but for all other divisions."