BDA Advises DIC And Sun Chemical On C...

BDA Advises DIC And Sun Chemical On China Transaction

There are 28 comments on the Chemical Online story from Feb 4, 2008, titled BDA Advises DIC And Sun Chemical On China Transaction. In it, Chemical Online reports that:

Business Development Asia announced that Sun Chemical and its parent, Dainippon Ink & Chemicals , have formed a majority-owned joint venture with Nantong Shanjing Metallic Pigments Co Ltd, a leading China-based ...

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PRINT INDUSTRY OBSERVER

United States

#1 Feb 10, 2008
CHINA? What about Europe and The Americas:

Seems to me that Dainippon Ink & Chemicals should also worry about other things and send some strong armed auditors or hire Business consultants so that they can monitor the state in which their American and Latin American based Sun Chemical companies find themselves today transformed from being at the very top of their game in Europe, North and Latin America to practically today being one of the most repulsive companies to work for after having lost all of its pride and competitive edge as a new management group, mostly industry outsiders, came to take the top jobs and turned a very good company into a place where employees have the lowest of morale and keep their doors closed in fear and terror.

There is also the matter of a group of cronies and former Flint Ink executives that lost their jobs at Flint Ink and somehow gained the control of top positions when they were brought in by Wes Lucas (an industry outsider CEO who was fired by the DIC group and then by Quebecor) and have turned Sun into a paradise for themselves and Hell on Earth for the rest of the employees that were there before. Sun employees are saying that if you are not part of the an ex-Flint unemployed fraternity you are nobody and you WILL lose your job at Sun sooner or later.

Then there is also the matter of Latin America where Sun Chemical was undisputed king and an admired company of this Japanese DIC group and today resembles the uggly American company of days long gone by. The Latin American unit has practically dissolved the professional staff and keeps the jazzy sexy jobs just for the ex-Flint insiders. And they do wonderful creative accounting based on cost controls regardless of future consequences (future, what future?).

If Dainippon Ink & Chemicals (DIC of Japan) does not get involved in this mess and takes inventory of this company in Europe, America and Latin America and sends in some auditors to analyze the type of customers and employees that is losing, and the bad reputation it is acquiring, DIC is going to be very surprised.
Mike Connecticut

South Dennis, MA

#2 Feb 16, 2008
It would seem that Rudy’s new logo “QUALITY-SERVICE-INNIOVATION " is somewhat short of the mark. I have been paying attention as to what is going on within Rudy’s domain, and see things happening, that I am sure he is not aware of. His "trusted" X Flint minions are feathering their nests beautifully and their philosophy is contrary to what Rudy is trying to accomplish.
The people left that really can help customers in the areas of service and quality are few and far between. The company is being run by the "good old boys" club (FLINT). Most of the really responsible professionals have been let go or become so disgusted with the state of affairs that they have resigned. There is a vacuum within the company that cannot be contained and it's only a matter of time before it implodes.

I fail to understand why these glaringly obvious issues cannot be recognized by the current leaders of this once fine company.
rocco

Wheaton, IL

#3 Feb 18, 2008
PRINT INDUSTRY OBSERVER wrote:
CHINA? What about Europe and The Americas:
Seems to me that Dainippon Ink & Chemicals should also worry about other things and send some strong armed auditors or hire Business consultants so that they can monitor the state in which their American and Latin American based Sun Chemical companies find themselves today transformed from being at the very top of their game in Europe, North and Latin America to practically today being one of the most repulsive companies to work for after having lost all of its pride and competitive edge as a new management group, mostly industry outsiders, came to take the top jobs and turned a very good company into a place where employees have the lowest of morale and keep their doors closed in fear and terror.
There is also the matter of a group of cronies and former Flint Ink executives that lost their jobs at Flint Ink and somehow gained the control of top positions when they were brought in by Wes Lucas (an industry outsider CEO who was fired by the DIC group and then by Quebecor) and have turned Sun into a paradise for themselves and Hell on Earth for the rest of the employees that were there before. Sun employees are saying that if you are not part of the an ex-Flint unemployed fraternity you are nobody and you WILL lose your job at Sun sooner or later.
Then there is also the matter of Latin America where Sun Chemical was undisputed king and an admired company of this Japanese DIC group and today resembles the uggly American company of days long gone by. The Latin American unit has practically dissolved the professional staff and keeps the jazzy sexy jobs just for the ex-Flint insiders. And they do wonderful creative accounting based on cost controls regardless of future consequences (future, what future?).
If Dainippon Ink & Chemicals (DIC of Japan) does not get involved in this mess and takes inventory of this company in Europe, America and Latin America and sends in some auditors to analyze the type of customers and employees that is losing, and the bad reputation it is acquiring, DIC is going to be very surprised.
As a X Sun chemical sales rep, I have to laugh at the above. You are correct when you say, it is hell on earth, but I would go a step futher and say HELL would be a "cake-walk" compared to working for Sun. The Sr. management is so far removed for what is going on in real world that saying they all have their heads up their butts would be an understatement. Guys like Brian Matton and the rest of them are nothing but butt-kissers, how this jerk keeps his job is beyond me. The rest are just a bunch a egomanics with a huge inferiority complexes. Just goes to show you that an MBA means nothing when it comes to running a business. These wasn't a manager there when I was with Sun that knew anything about the printing industry...Seems that holds true today. I hope they go out of business...They deserve nothing less
X Sun

Miami, FL

#4 Mar 10, 2008
Before the advent of the “Flinteans” to Sun Chemical Latin America, this division of Sun was enjoying a steady growth in sales in most product lines. It also experienced a financial purge that not only gave the new management a profitable business on a silver platter, but they also inherited healthy balance sheet reserves. Let’s not forget the joint ventures that also contributed, and still contribute, substantially to the bottom line. The new players also lucked out with increased business in one of the biggest country when their only large competitor left that country. Gains on the sale of industrial land in Argentina (which had been purchased by Coates/Lorilleux) also padded their bottom line. Let’s not forget that all “rationalization expenses (mostly terminations)” are recorded below the operating income line (which was not so before the “new generation”). Inter-company pricing across borders also became a delicate subject. What else could there be? A word to the wise in DIC Japan,“Get your auditors down there”. Whilst business is still strong in some countries (mostly within the joint ventures) it is not the case in the largest countries of Latin America where Sun has wholly owned subsidiaries. So many excellent technical and other professional people who knew the business were let go. The questions is,“What was the “new Flint generation” really afraid of?” It is no wonder that sales have deteriorated in these countries. The prestige that Sun once enjoyed in this part of the world is gone. Today Sun is an embarrassment within the printing industry in Latin America.
On another note: You think 2007 was not as good a year for total Sun Chemical? Wait for the end of 2008, then 2009, and so on, and so on.
X Sun Ft Lee

Miami, FL

#5 Mar 10, 2008
Before the advent of the “Flinteans” to Sun Chemical Latin America, this division of Sun was enjoying a steady growth in sales in most product lines. It also experienced a financial purge that not only gave the new management a profitable business on a silver platter, but they also inherited healthy balance sheet reserves. Let’s not forget the joint ventures that also contributed, and still contribute, substantially to the bottom line. The new players also lucked out with increased business in one of the biggest country when their only large competitor left that country. Gains on the sale of industrial land in Argentina (which had been purchased by Coates/Lorilleux) also padded their bottom line. Let’s not forget that all “rationalization expenses (mostly terminations)” are recorded below the operating income line (which was not so before the “new generation”). Inter-company pricing across borders also became a delicate subject. What else could there be? A word to the wise in DIC Japan,“Get your auditors down there”. Whilst business is still strong in some countries (mostly within the joint ventures) it is not the case in the largest countries of Latin America where Sun has wholly owned subsidiaries. So many excellent technical and other professional people who knew the business were let go. The questions is,“What was the “new Flint generation” really afraid of?” It is no wonder that sales have deteriorated in these countries. The prestige that Sun once enjoyed in this part of the world is gone. Today Sun is an embarrassment within the printing industry in Latin America.

On another note: You think 2007 was not as good a year for total Sun Chemical? Wait for the end of 2008, then 2009, and so on, and so on.
A printer - Colombia

Bogotá, Colombia

#6 Mar 21, 2008
Bonus Money for Execs wrote:
The latest is that Quebecor has been asking the courts for permission to give performance bonuses to executives such as the "Wes Lucas."
Yes, yes, yes. Even when rumored to have evaporated, here and Lucas and friends possibly coming back in line to collect some more bonus pay for the performance.
Performance? What performance? Is Quebecor not bankrupt for lack of performance? How can there be performance bonuses?
You have to make a strong applause to Wes Lucas for his bravado because he had no idea, zero, zilch, on how to manage an ink company. But he took the job at Sun Chemical anyway and proceeded to dismember that company, eliminating many of the essential people (what a terrible mess Sun Chemical is today) and with this bravado to collect his paycheck and give employment to his "his people" as top executives he also took another job at Quebecor. Well, Quebecor he finished off and at Sun Chemical he started a destructive process that continues today in accelerated mode because those people he put in charge are still there conducting an extermination of the best people in order to surround themselves with familiar faces, even if they are not the most competent.
Today, when I see the post-Lucas Sun Chemical what I see is that many of the top professional Sun Chemical people appear to be working in other companies. Here in Latin America, where Lucas hired and gave the territory to a "clan of friends" that had all lost their jobs at Flint -- it is said that Lucas never asked why Flint did not want them before giving them all that power to change what was a very professional division of Sun -- when a customer asks for technical assistance and technically competent dialog from this ink supplier, it is like asking for an illegal substance. And those who are still employees of Sun they describe Sun Chemical as an environment full of negative intrigue and polarized by Human Resources schemes against employees and all this feels like you are talking with people who are in a war. Others say that it is like going to a funeral every morning when they go in to work. And that environment seems to be also the same in the United States and Europe.
NO THIS IS NOT THE SUN CHEMICAL (or for that matter Quebecor) THAT USED TO SERVICE OUR BUSINESSES. Not the business partners that we knew. This is a company that appears headed for the same place trouble world that Quebecor went. It used to be such a strong business partner before Wes Lucas and the people he brought in and left there took it over. It is our understanding that there have been 2 or 3 other Presidents of Sun after Lucas but that all of them where Lucas men and that all that are in line for POWER are Lucas men. How sad that it seems that all the people that have worked at the successful Sun Chemical of yesterday have been persecuted and chased away by this group that is in there now most of which are either industry outsiders passing through a job, a stepping stone, or who were discarded by Flint Ink which always ran #2 or worse to the Sun Chemical.
Downsized in the US

Carol Stream, IL

#7 Apr 1, 2008
It saddens me to see what has happened to a once great company. I spent more than 25 years with Sun and was "downsized" late last year. Henri Dyner started Sun down the slippery slope trying to apply European marketing/sales concepts to the NA market....a tactical error. Then he brought in Wes Lucas, no need to say more. The company is being run by Lucas spin offs who do not understand the industry or market. Yes, the graphic arts industry has gone through very turbulent times in the past 5 years, but in the end, do you want leaders or managers running the company through rough waters? Wes was a "manager" as are all of his minions that followed.
There is no one, in the current management ranks, that could be identified as a "leader". This is someone an employee is willing to fight for, give extra effort and make sacrifices. There is not a top level executive, currently in the company, that has a modicum of leadership ability. Managing a balance sheet will only last so long. Too bad the cronyism has leached through the company. People not good enough to work at a major competitor are now in positions they are clearly not qualified for.
The morale at Sun cannot get any lower. Without any sign of hope, the people who truly provide value will leave or just give up. For those folks left, good luck.....you will need it.
B Barclay uk

Paisley, UK

#8 Apr 8, 2008
As an ex SunChemical employee who escaped captivity last year after serving 35 years with Ault and Wiborg and Sun,I thought the malaise was only in the uk.Its sad that good people in the Ink industry are being treated so shabbily.
Lament for Sun Chemical

Bakersfield, CA

#9 Apr 8, 2008
LEADERS???? Not at Sun

I think that there is a SAD STORY that a printer from Argentina below is trying to tell when he posted the comment below at a Forum where the tragedies of two organisations, Quebecor and Sun Chemical, are intertwined and connected

http://www.topix.com/forum/com/iqw/TF5T39P9IR...
Latin American Printer from Argentina wrote:
After the arrival of trio Lucas/Lawson/Cunnigham at SunChemical I have seen in person which is the discrimination.All Latin American people that is threat for they dark objectives was fired.

We cannot doubt the great corruption that exists inside and towards the clients in Sun Chemical, the incredible thing is that DIC does not do anything,exposing itself to appear in all newspaper of the region.

As client I think that SunChemical follows the way of Enron or other so many companias corrupt and having the discrimination as a flag to show. The result expressed in Quebecor by Mr. Lucas was obvious.

At this moment,at this moment the pride of Lawson and Cunnigham blinds them,for this reason, we are not client.
Andrez Lopez

United States

#10 Apr 8, 2008
PRINT INDUSTRY OBSERVER wrote:
CHINA? What about Europe and The Americas:
Seems to me that Dainippon Ink & Chemicals should also worry about other things and send some strong armed auditors or hire Business consultants so that they can monitor the state in which their American and Latin American based Sun Chemical companies find themselves today transformed from being at the very top of their game in Europe, North and Latin America to practically today being one of the most repulsive companies to work for after having lost all of its pride and competitive edge as a new management group, mostly industry outsiders, came to take the top jobs and turned a very good company into a place where employees have the lowest of morale and keep their doors closed in fear and terror.
There is also the matter of a group of cronies and former Flint Ink executives that lost their jobs at Flint Ink and somehow gained the control of top positions when they were brought in by Wes Lucas (an industry outsider CEO who was fired by the DIC group and then by Quebecor) and have turned Sun into a paradise for themselves and Hell on Earth for the rest of the employees that were there before. Sun employees are saying that if you are not part of the an ex-Flint unemployed fraternity you are nobody and you WILL lose your job at Sun sooner or later.
Then there is also the matter of Latin America where Sun Chemical was undisputed king and an admired company of this Japanese DIC group and today resembles the uggly American company of days long gone by. The Latin American unit has practically dissolved the professional staff and keeps the jazzy sexy jobs just for the ex-Flint insiders. And they do wonderful creative accounting based on cost controls regardless of future consequences (future, what future?).
If Dainippon Ink & Chemicals (DIC of Japan) does not get involved in this mess and takes inventory of this company in Europe, America and Latin America and sends in some auditors to analyze the type of customers and employees that is losing, and the bad reputation it is acquiring, DIC is going to be very surprised.
DIC will not be surprised at all. Simple answer: China is a bigger market. The rest does not count.
Passing Through

United States

#11 Apr 23, 2008
Passing through on a little vacation. Let me summarise how we see. Sun Chemical is being subjected to bloody awful horrors in management by bean countig accountants whose careers had ended at other large organisations such as General Electric companies and have come to Sun thinking they are still at a Fortune 500 and being chased by Neutron Jack Welch rather than realising they are in a freaking ink company. And so these guys together with the group that was also brought in by Lucas and known as the ex-Flint gang are the people in power and the people that have basically created the company of the lowest morale possible. I had never seen people at Sun so depressed and lacking their joy for work. I ask, where are the owners of this company and why are they not saving what is left???
candyman

Pompano Beach, FL

#12 Jun 16, 2008
nothing new since April?
Once Upon a Time w Sun

Garza García, Mexico

#13 Jul 11, 2008
This forum is an eye opener. It has been years since I was employed at SunChemical and those I keep in touch with make me glad to have had the exodus as long ago as I had.

After reading the sentiments I can only feel gratitude that I was gone as Wes Lucas took hold. Sick Sigma away my friends. Other than Henri Dyner I cannot think of single soul that thought Wes had a clue as to what to do with an ink company. From afar, I saw it to be true. Then an inoculation of ex-Flintees only proved that it takes a lot totake down an elephant of a company. For if Wes took hold of any smaller company it would have circled the bowl long ago.

I am coming back to this forum to keep informed. Thanks to the creator.
Sounds They Hate to Hear

Hasbrouck Heights, NJ

#14 Sep 16, 2008
I was talking to one of the people that works at Sun Chemical apparently survived the latest massacre of the first week of September 2008 when Greg Lawson who is now assigned to run the sales division for North America for Sun Chemical, the company that once was the cream of the crop of the industry has a dark future fire about one-third of the technical sales force. Lawson himself was fired and unemployed from Flint until that man Wes Lucas brought him to Sun Chemical Latin America.

GOOD LUCK NORTH AMERICAN INKS. YOU ARE GOING TO NEED IT!

If you want to see a good indication what is going to happen to North American Inks at Sun Chemical under Greg Lawson, well, all you have to do is go and see the Latin American Division which Wes Lucas gave to Lawson and his best pal Jim Cunningham, also another person that Flint fired from their ranks. What a massacre of a business unit. They replaced some of the best professionals in the industry with their ex-Flint friends and cronies.
anoonymous

Pompano Beach, FL

#15 Sep 29, 2008
It is amazing that the Japanese do not stp in to stop the exit of the pros at Sun.Amazing to be in the field and hear first hand all the sad news of a once great company being slowly destroyed
by a few
Watching Sun Set

Lyndhurst, NJ

#16 Oct 6, 2008
There was a time, not so long ago, when profitable segments of what is now know as Sun Chemical, North American Inks, supplied very good product at reasonable prices and made money. They had names like US Ink, Kohl & Madden, Coates.... and are now gone (at least as far as their customers are concerned).

The "planned" exodus of so many respected and knowledgeable indiviguals from Sun (see comments above)can only result in chaos for the company (which it has), and loss of business for Sun (not bad for those of us now enjoying life in the ink biz outside of Sun).

Mr. Oe, take stock of what is happening to Sun Chemical in North America - executive management has all but taken Sun out of the commercial print market - the attempt at centralization in Cincinnati was a noble concept corrupted by those who do not understand the market (or business concepts as they relate to customers anyway- oh, hang on, Accenture was chosen - same mistake made some time ago under a different name - similar result - priceless).

I spent enough time within the Sun organization to know that if the company ever got it's "stuff" together, that no one would be able to compete for long.
Glad to see, from the outside, that I now have nothing to worry about.
Former Sun Alumni

Lyndhurst, NJ

#17 Nov 17, 2008
I just had the entertaining pleasure of reading Wes's profile on the Sirva website. One part of it is priceless. Here it is (with my recommended revision optionis in parentheses):

Wes W. Lucas
President and Chief Executive Officer
SIRVA, Inc.

Wes W. Lucas was named SIRVA chief executive officer and board member in July 2008. A seasoned executive with experience in a variety of C-suite roles at global Fortune 500 corporations as well as small private companies, Lucas is widely known for his ability to drive (1. companies into the ground. 2. employees nuts 3. veteran staff to rush to the doors like lemmings to escape his incompetent leadership 4. profitability into the toilet) company growth through the development of enhanced execution capabilities and delivery of superior customer value. From 2001 to 2006, Lucas served as chairman, chief executive officer and president of Sun Chemical, the world’s largest color company with 300 operating plants and approximately $4 billion in annual sales. Prior to this, he served as co-chairman of Kodak Polychrome, a joint venture between Kodak and the world’s largest provider of imaging equipment and materials for commercial media. Previous significant leadership roles also include serving as chief executive officer and president of Quebecor World, a $6 billion printing services company; president of Sytrenics Nova Chemicals, a leader in plastics and materials; vice president of AlliedSignal, a multi-billion-dollar industrial company; and as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. Lucas holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School, and a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and accounting from the University of California, Berkeley.
candyman

Madison Lake, MN

#18 Dec 3, 2008
As of today Mr Jim Cunningham is no longer with Sun Chemical.He was asked to leave the premises (ft Lauderdale).He left via Taxi
Former Sun person

Madison Lake, MN

#19 Dec 3, 2008
Good riddence Mr Cunningham there are a few more ex-fLINT FLUNKIES THAT NEED TO FOLLOW ENOUGH DAMAGE HAS BEEN DONE TO A ONCE LEADER IN THE INDUSTRY. These guys are in this for themselves to line their pockets.
Good move Sun
ananymous

Madison Lake, MN

#20 Dec 10, 2008
Just like the Roman Empire and many others the destruction is from the inside out.A few "shakers and movers" will leave with golden parachutes or with enough money to survive the rest of their years.The damage caused by these people will linger a long time eventually a stong honest leader with people skills will appear and lead Sun out of the muck/mire it has let itself be put into I just hope that
a-it is not too late
b-people skills are very important and there is no substitute
Sun was a class act for a long long time many of the ex-Flint that got their jobs thru "the good old boys network" cronyism have tarnished that image while lining their pockets
Sun needs a good dose of a strong Ex-Lax to cleanse itself and hopefully regain its previous status --My wishes are that it happens soon for the sake of the good people that still remain !!As for the rest well everything goes around Mr Jim got his due reward
It will happen to the rest and they know who they are-financial shinanigans will be discovered accounting gymnastics used to cover up m any things will surface -----it will happen!!!!

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