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Barco Graphics and Purup-Eskofot will merge

SEPTEMBER 14, 2001 — On September 7, 2001 at the PRINT01 Conference in Chicago, Barco N.V., the parent company of Barco Graphics, and Kirkbi A/S, the parent company of Purup-Eskofot, announced that they have finalized an agreement to merge Barco Graphics and Purup-Eskofot into one company. Forty-nine percent of the new company will be owned by Barco N.V.; fifty-one percent will be owned by Kirkbi A/S.

The temporary name for the new company is "BPE." A permanent company name will be decided upon and announced in the first quarter of 2002. BPE will combine the management, R&D, manufacturing and distribution resources of the previous entities; and the product lines of the companies will be merged, giving BPE the broadest line of computer-to-plate products of any organization in the world.

The combined turnover of the two organizations is in excess of EUR 250 million / US$ 227 million.

Barco Graphics

Barco Graphics is the leading global supplier to the packaging industry for digital pre-production solutions and the only supplier to offer an integrated approach to graphic and structural workflows. Barco is also the world market leader in flexo computer-to-plate imaging. In addition, it is the world leader in digital prepress solutions for the cartographic market. Furthermore, as an OEM supplier to Xeikon and IBM, Barco is a leading player in the digital document-printing market.


Purup-Eskofot is a leading digital prepress supplier. It is also the world leader in copydot-scanning solutions and in the computer-to-polyester-plate imaging market, where it has OEM and distribution agreements with AB Dick and Mitsubishi Paper Mills.

Corporate Office to be Located in Belgium

BPE will be based in Gent, Belgium. Development of hardware products and software products will take place in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Czechia and the USA. All manufacturing facilities will be in Europe.

Schulin-Zeuthen Named as CEO

William Schulin-Zeuthen, currently President and CEO of Purup-Eskofot, will become CEO of BPE.

BPE's Product Portfolio

The product lines of both companies will be consolidated into a single product portfolio; where overlaps occur, BPE will select the best products for each specific market or application.

For example, in the area of offset computer-to-plate imagers for commercial printing, the portfolio will focus on Mondrian, the fastest and most automated Very Large Format (VLF) 830 nm thermal CtP unit available, and on PlateDriver, a new series of internal-drum CtP machines launched at PRINT01.

The standard commercial-printing-workflow product for BPE will be the Barco-developed FastLane system, which runs on Windows NT/2000 and uses Adobe PostScript technology. The FastRIP/FlexRIP and FlexProof line of very-high-performance raster image processors (RIPs) will drive the complete range of BPE's imaging and proofing devices. These RIPs run under Windows NT/2000 and accept PostScript 3, PDF, and the Barco Graphics native language.

The BPE product portfolio will also include:
  • Cyrel Digital Imager (CDI), a flexo computer-to-plate device family
  • computer-to-film devices (2/4-page DotMate, 8-page ImageMaker, and VLF MegaSetter Plus)
  • DotMate and DPX, 2- and 4-page polyester-plate CtP systems
  • DMX, a line of visible-light, internal-drum newspaper CtP systems
  • EskoScan, the market-leading medium- and large-format copydot-scanning system
  • ScanMate, a series of high-resolution flatbed CCD color scanners and desktop drum color scanners
  • SpinJet, an imposition proofer that provides high-speed accurately registered double-sided imposition proofs
  • PackEdge, QuickStep and ColorTone, which are leading packaging-pre-production software tools
  • Plato, a layout tool for optimized package and label output
  • ArtiosCAD, a structural-design environment that includes WebCenter, which forms the basis for customizable web-based solutions for packaging converters
  • BackStage, a workflow-management/automation system
  • EskoNet, a newspaper-workflow solution
  • the Kongsberg XL series of automatic cutting and creasing tables for sample-making and short run, along with ColorBeam, an inkjet-printing option for one-step sample production that includes graphics
  • Mercator, software for publishing maps and charts
  • AtlasVIP, a prepress tool for the rapid design and generation of atlas pages
  • PrintStreamer, a variable-data-printing product that has Xeikon and IBM as OEM clients

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