Clover Acquires K+U Printware and Collecture

Cathy Martin and Andy Carroll
Aug 2, 2012

The largest remanufacturer of printing supplies, Clover Holdings, announced that it has acquired K+U Printware, a toner remanufacturer based in Germany, and its wholly-owned subsidiary for empties collection, Collecture. K+U Printware was founded in 1990 and is headquarted in Ettenheim, Germany, specializing in the remanufacture of toner cartridges. Collecture started in 2000 and collects printers, cartridges, mobile phones, and small electronics. The two organizations will continue to operate independently in their respective markets but will work together with Clover where synergies exist.

Over the past few years, Clover has been very active in acquisitions as the Table below details. Note also that in April 2010, Clover was acquired by Golden Gate along with West Point Products.

Table: Clover Acquisitions through the Years

In addition to these acquisitions, Clover has a prominent position with the office supply superstores including Staples and Office Depot and other retailers and distributors for both collections of empties and private label products. Clover has secured itself at the top of the supplies aftermarket in terms of both collections and remanufactured products. In addition to supplies, the company has also gained additional environmental presence for the collection, refurbishing, and recycling of other types of products including printers, cell phones, iPods, tablets, and others. More recent acquisitions have been targeting cartridge collection companies, suggesting Clover is looking for more control over its supply chain and expanding its product scope in markets around the world.

According to the most recent sustainability report published in June, Clover claims to have 5,891 employees worldwide and over $650 million in revenue. Clover manages a major collection business around the world collecting 76 million units annually that includes cartridges, cell phones, small electronics, and printer components. This in turn sustains its remanufactured line of supplies of which most are under private brands.

Clover’s overall market share of the remanufacturing market in Europe is still actually quite modest compared to the U.S., as the market is fairly fragmented. In addition, traditionally a large part of Clover’s business has been in the U.K.  K+U Printware is one of the top 5 players in Germany, and most of their business is in the German market, so this suggests that this acquisition is targeted purely at increasing their German presence.  There are still large German remanufacturers like Pelikan, Printservice, Embatex and KMP so this acquisition is unlikely to massively shift the landscape, but it does allow Clover to better balance their business.

 

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