Kodak has bought US printing plate provider Southern Lithoplate, taking on the service and parts assets.
The company says the move – which will see SLP customers offered a vast range of service options – complements a strategic alliance formed last December.
Kodak says SLP’s customer support and expertise within the newspaper sector will be integrated with its products and technology under an umbrella of innovative and sustainable print solutions. Chief executive Jim Continenza says the deal strengthens Kodak’s newspaper expertise.
Southern Lithoplate’s history dates to 1934 when Joseph Casson and his son Edward started ball-graining zinc plates – used by the US Army for map making during WWII – and progressed to producing the first aluminium litho plates. It moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1981 incorporating as Southern Lithoplate.
After competing with 3M/Imation over many years, it acquired the rival’s North American manufacturing assets and plate IP in 1998, and those of Citiplate in 2007.
Fourth-generation chairman and chief executive Trip Casson said it was vital to find the right partner to carry on SLP’s service legacy. “Kodak will provide the very best service, support and print solutions available on the market,” he said. “Our decision to choose Kodak to continue on with the SLP customer base includes Kodak’s on-going commitment to print long-term and the honour and integrity by which the team at Kodak has supported our plate business since January.”
Kodak takes over the servicing of Southern Lithoplate’s accounts from August 1.