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Esko owner Danaher to sell off Kongsberg cutter division

Esko, a Danaher company and the global developer of integrated software and hardware solutions for the packaging, label and wide format sectors, has announced the planned sale of its Kongsberg digital finishing business to OpenGate Capital, subject to any applicable information and/or consultation with employee representative bodies under applicable local law.

 kongsberg v cutting table med res
 A typical Kongsberg table cutter finishing system


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 and its Kongsberg division were acquired by US conglomerate firm Danaher in 2011. Danaher also owns X-Rite, Videojet and Pantone and generates revenues of around AUD$25 billion annually, including bio-sciences involved in Covid testing and pharamcauticals.

“Esko is concentrating its 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, the company can accelerate delivery of integrated software and hardware technologies to help customers digitise, automate, and connect their operations so they can realise 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 Packaging and Color Management Companies Pantone, Esko, X-Rite and AVT.

Kongsberg was founded in Norway in 1965, and Esko (then Barco) purchased Kongsberg in 1998.

Customers with Kongsberg systems can expect business as usual, since most of the employees who currently serve them would continue to do so as part of the new stand-alone business. Reseller relationships would also be transferred to Kongsberg PCS, meaning customers who purchased Kongsberg tables through resellers would also benefit from uninterrupted relationships.

The new Kongsberg PCS company would be led by Stuart Fox, future President of Kongsberg PCS. Stuart is one of many seasoned digital finishing experts moving from Esko to complement 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,” says Fox.

OpenGate Capital sees opportunities for growing the Kongsberg business beyond signage and packaging applications, expanding the product offering and growing the tooling and consumables offering.

OpenGate Capital is a global private equity firm specialising in the acquisition and operation of businesses to create new value through operational improvements, innovation, and growth. Established in 2005, OpenGate Capital is headquartered in Los Angeles, California with a European office in Paris, France. OpenGate’s professionals possess the critical skills needed to acquire, transition, operate, build, and scale successful businesses. To date, OpenGate Capital, through its legacy and fund investments, has executed more than 30 acquisitions including corporate carve-outs, management buyouts, special situations, and transactions with private sellers across North America and Europe.