Report: Landa Digital Printing to Become Part of SPAC Listed on the NASDAQ Exchange
According to a CTech report published online by Israeli daily business newspaper and website Calcalist, privately held Landa Digital Printing may become part of a SPAC and, as a result, be traded on the NASDAQ exchange. A SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) is a shell corporation — which is listed on a stock exchange — designed to acquire a private company, thus enabling it to go public and be traded without going through the traditional IPO (initial public offering) process.
The article indicated that Landa Digital Printing (LDP) founder Benny Landa has been working with Bank of America the past several months to float the deal, and is valuing LDP at $2 billion, or 20x the digital printing press manufacturer's annual sales of approximately $50 million.
A March 9, 2021, business news report published by Globes, also revealed that Benny Landa was partnering with fellow Israeli businessman David (Dudi) Wiesmann — the chairman of fuel company Sonol Israel Ltd. and founder of investment fund Gefen — to jointly float the SPAC on Wall Street, in order to raise $250 million.
Multiple Outside Capital Infusions
LDP, a spinoff of Israel-based Landa Labs, which currently employs more than 500 workers, has garnered outside capital infusions in the past in exchange for equity positions. In June 2018, LDP received $300 million equity financing, led by private investment firm SKion GmbH and joined by specialty chemicals group ALTANA, an already-existing shareholder.
The 2018 $300 million investment in LDP was in addition to more than $400 million previously invested by Benny Landa and ALTANA. As a result, Benny Landa remained majority shareholder with a 54% stake. ALTANA and SKion together own 46% of the company, with ALTANA continuing to hold a stake of 33.3%. Both SKion and ALTANA are wholly-owned by German billionaire heiress and entrepreneur Susanne Klatten.
"My investment reflects my confidence in the technological potential of Landa Digital Printing," Klatten indicated in a statement back in 2018 following the second round of financing. "Together we can spark the market demand for digital printing solutions. To be part of this new chapter in the history of printing also means a significant entrepreneurial move for me,” she added.
But it appears that the combination of Landa Nanographic press sales slowed by COVID-19, coupled with ongoing delays of Landa digital press launches and shipments prior to the pandemic, is causing investors ALTANA and SKion to question the lack of return on their investments in LDP.
Landa Digital Printing Press Sales in the U.S.
Nevertheless, LDP has fulfilled some B1-format sheetfed digital press installations in the U.S. In February 2021, City of Industry, Calif.-based K1 Packaging Group, a provider of custom packaging solutions for consumer products, announced the installation of a 6,500 sheets/hr. Landa S10 Nanographic printing press, marking the first Landa digital press installed on the West Coast.
In October 2020, Duggal Visual Solutions reported it purchased a 41˝, seven-color Landa S10 for its New York production facilities. At the time, it was heralded as the world’s first Landa Nanographic printing press equipped with High Definition-ready capabilities. “With the Landa S10, we can fulfill even more of our customers’ print and packaging needs, much faster, along with personalization and other special features," noted Duggal Visual Solutions CEO Mike Duggal, in a press release. "I feel everything is set to meet the premium HD standards found only at Duggal."
At a virtual press event held in September 2020, LDP reported that its sheetfed B1-format S10 had been installed at 12 sites across several countries spanning North America and Europe, along with installs in Israel and China. The S10 press design incorporates Komori offset press feeder and delivery components, and Fuji Dimatix inkjet heads.
During the press event, Benny Landa indicated he was looking forward to drupa 2021 in Germany (which ultimately was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns). “If COVID-19 taught us one thing, it’s that the world is not going back to the old normal,” Landa said. “And the new normal will be more digital than the old.”
Despite LDP's mixed B1-format sales results, a recent B2 inkjet press study conducted by NAPCO Research (email email@example.com for more details) indicated a strong interest among U.S. commercial printers to acquire a 29˝ production inkjet press. In fact, 25% of the respondents indicated plans to purchase a B2-format cutsheet inkjet press within the next two years. The strongest reasons cited were lower running costs than offset for short-run jobs, compatibility with both common offset coated paper stocks and specialty substrates, as well as the larger sheet size compared to smaller inkjet models to enable higher productivity.