Presstek to buy A.B.Dick for $20 million

Presstek Inc., a Hudson-based maker of digital imaging machines, is acquiring the bankrupt A.B.Dick Co. for $40 million.

A.B.Dick, a worldwide supplier to the graphic arts and printing industry, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier in July, which makes the transaction subject to the approval of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The firm’s headquarters are in Niles, Ill.

Presstek Chief Financial Officer Moosa E. Moosa said his company also has joined with A.B.Dick’s lender, Key Corporate Capital Inc., to provide $7 million in debtor-in-possession financing to fund A.B.Dick’s post-petition operating expenses and to meet supplier and employee commitments until the sale is complete. Moosa said that Presstek will provide $5 million and the bank will provide the remaining $2 million.

Moosa said the sale proceedings should be complete sometime in the fall.

Presstek intends to operate the 120-year-old A.B.Dick as a wholly owned subsidiary. A.B.Dick has about 900 employees and 15,000 customers. Presstek has about 160 employees in Hudson.

According to Edward J. Marino, Presstek’s president and chief executive officer, the firm views the acquisition as a strategic move to expand the long-term business opportunities for both Presstek and A.B.Dick.

Marino said it’s too early to say what changes might be made by either company, but he added that Presstek’s intent is to help A.B.Dick become a stronger company and not to make changes.

The acquisition is designed to extend the distribution capability and channel support for Presstek, he said.

“As part of Presstek’s market-focused and customer-oriented strategic direction, this acquisition represents a focused investment for future business growth,” Marino said.

Over the past two years, Presstek has refocused and streamlined its organization, overcoming some rocky months – including a series of layoffs and market re-evaluations.

“As a result, the company is now on a solid footing and is well positioned to implement a successful integration of the two organizations,” Marino said.

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