Iconex, the largest US-based converter of receipt paper rolls and the manufacturer of Iconex Sticky Media™ linerless labels, announced this morning the acquisition of MAX International Converters, Inc., the producers of MAXStick® Liner Free labels.
This acquisition is poised to make serious waves in the label industry. MAXStick and Iconex Sticky Media are both dominant players in the linerless labels segment, and together, they will likely meet the lion's share of US demand for the category.
The leaders of both companies were quoted about the future of their respective product lines, but the specifics of what that future will look like remain unclear.
“Adding the MAXStick product portfolio allows Iconex to provide additional high-performance liner-free options to our customers and expands our portfolio of proven technology,” said Iconex Chief Executive Officer Craig A. Gunckel, in a press release issued this morning.
"Current MAX International customers will benefit from gaining access to Iconex's high-performance, differentiated label portfolio, including Iconex Sticky Media," said Mike Vigunas, President of MAX International. Vigunas, who has led the Lancaster, PA-based converter for the past 31 years, is being retained by Iconex as Vice President of Global Business Development. “Joining Iconex provides our business with significant growth potential, offering a global supply chain and duplicate manufacturing locations that will serve our loyal customers well now, and in the years to come.”
MAX International was founded in 1943 as part of Clampitt Paper Company in Dallas, TX. Clampitt spun the company off in 1992, creating MAX International Converters, Inc. MAX International claims its signature product, MAXStick, as the first-ever liner-free direct thermal repositionable label.
Iconex, LLC, was formed by the sale of NCR's Interactive Printer Solutions (IPS) division in 2016 to Atlas Holdings LLC. Since then, Iconex has employed an aggressive acquisition strategy to obtain additional market share and manufacturing capabilities. Iconex bills itself as the world’s leading low-cost provider of paper receipt and variable print label solutions.
About Linerless Labels
Linerless labels, as the name implies, are continuous labels that are produced without a liner backing. Instead, a silicone "release coating" on the surface of each label prevents them from adhering to themselves when converted into a roll. Ditching the liner significantly reduces waste, transportation costs (due to the reduction in overall weight) and increases ease of application.
As the fastest-growing segment in the label industry, these labels are an increasingly-common sight at QSRs (quick-service restaurants), where they are often applied directly to takeout bags or food wrappers.
It is currently unknown whether Iconex will integrate MAXStick items into their Sticky Media product line or if the two will remain separate. When more information is forthcoming, it will be provided.