Shrinking feeling: Heidelberg looks to savings following real estate sale

Sheetfed press maker Heidelberg has sold about a seventh of its 84 hectare suburban factory site, and is looking to sell twice as much again.

Industrial park developer VGP paid a purchase price "in the mid double-digit million-Euro range" which Heidelberg will use to improve liquidity and to advance its digital transformation.

Heidelberg claims the Wiesloch/Walldorf site - at which it began production in 1957 - houses the largest and most modern printing press factory in the world, producing all sheetfed offset and digital presses and CTP systems. About 15 km south of the eponymous city, it employs about 4900 people. A new global spare parts centre opened there in 1999, a new production hall eight years later, followed by the group headquarters in 2014.

Its Print Media Center opened in 2015, followed by new Innovation Centre in 2018.

Chief executive Rainer Hundsdörfer says "considerable costs" will be saved through using space more efficiently.

"In VGP, we have found an experienced real estate developer as a partner who will market the space at the Wiesloch/Walldorf site in a future-proof manner in close coordination with the municipalities and Heidelberg."

Belgium-headquartered VGP Group operates 76 parks in 12 European countries.

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