Dover buys Systech, boosting Markem-Imaje print/coding unit

US industrial conglomerate Dover Corp has bolstered its brand protection and traceability business with an agreement to buy Systech International.

The just-announced deal – due to close during the first quarter of this year pending regulatory approvals – will result in Systech becoming a part of Dover’s Markem-Imaje product marking and coding business, which provides inkjet, thermal transfer, laser, and print and apply label systems.

Systech has rapidly grown into a major player in the brand protection category with its expertise in serialization, traceability and anti-counterfeiting and anti-diversion.

First set up in the 1980s as a manufacturing automation company, Princeton, New Jersey-based Systech is a pioneer in serialization and track-and-trace of item-level products, working with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer years ago to develop an online barcode serialization system for its big-selling erectile dysfunction Viagra (sildenafil).

The platform has been refined in the ensuing years to add functionality including track-and-trace and product authentication which can all be overseen using a dashboard that makes it make it accessible, integrated and interpretable.

In 2018 it achieved a major milestone with the launch of e-Fingerprint, which adds an extra layer of authentication to any product – via its barcode for example – without having to add anything to the item or its packaging.

It has also steadily expanded beyond pharma into new industries like medical devices, biotechnology, consumer goods and food/beverage, as well as entering new geographic markets including India and China.

Dover said in a statement that acquiring Systech will enhance Markem-Imaje's product identification and traceability unit, part of its printing and identification division which accounted for around $850m of its total sales of $5.36bn in the first nine months of 2019. Financial terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed.

“Systech's cloud-based software solutions will add recurring software and service revenue to Markem-Imaje's business mix,” said Dover.

“The combination of Systech and Markem-Imaje's software and service offerings will provide a scaled-up software and service organisation that will drive growth and efficiency by cross-leveraging each company's respective channels and global service infrastructure.”

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