Deal will unite Presstek and Goss International

Parent of Hudson-based printer plans to buy Durham-based manufacturer from Chinese firm

Two New Hampshire printing companies will soon be related, if a deal announced Friday goes through.

American Industrial Partners – a New York private equity firm that owns the Hudson-based Presstek Inc. – has reached a definitive agreement with the Chinese-owned Shanghai Electric Corporation to buy Goss International Corp., based in Durham, for an undisclosed amount.

The deal can’t go forward without regulatory approval, which won’t be for 60 to 90 days.

“Our rank and file see this as a positive thing,” said Mike D’Angelo, managing director for the Americas at Goss, which employs about 450 attached to its Durham headquarters, out of 1,500 worldwide. “We see this leading to the growth of our market share and our output.”

“We are very excited,” added Ralph Jenkins, worldwide director of sales and marketing for Presstek, which employs about 44 in its Hudson headquarters out of a total workforce of 228.

Both companies are involved in the printing equipment business, though they serve very different markets.

Goss manufactures large web offset printing presses for the newspaper industry and large commercial printing operations. Shanghai Electric – which purchased a majority share in the company in 2009 – bought it outright the following year in a deal valued at $1.5 billion. But, said D’Angelo, the government-owned SEC, traded on the Shanghai exchange, changed management and wanted to divest itself out of the printing business, which took a nosedive during the last recession, to concentrate on its core business: electric generation.

The Durham plant mainly serves as Goss’ U.S. headquarters, though it does some light manufacturing. Presstek primarily produces plates, mostly for smaller printers.

AIP took over Presstek – then a struggling publicly traded company – in 2012 for 50 cents a share, or about $26 million. At the time, the company was headquartered in Connecticut with a major facility in Hudson that employed 110 workers, but has since downsized to 44 workers. While the Hudson plant still produces direct imagining plates for its own equipment, the Hudson facility has become the company’s administrative headquarters. Most of the production is out of the company’s South Hadley, Mass., plant, which also employs 44 workers. The rest of the company’s workers are scattered throughout the United States and the United Kingdom.

“Going from public to private, really allowed us to do what is fitting for the market,” said Jenkins. “It was a time for strategic change within the company, and it allowed us to be profitable. They adjusted the size for the company and we were able to narrow everything down to our core competencies.”

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