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Heidelberg has said it will unveil its much-anticipated digital print partner before the end of March 2011 in a deal that will "change the industry".

In itsfirst public statement on itshunt for a digital partner since a proposed tie-up was announced in January, Heidelberg attempted to clarify its position.

Stephan Plenz, Heidelberg board member responsible for equipment, said: "Our in-depth discussions started at Ipex and we have talked to lots of potential partners.

"We are still in negotiations - we want to work with the best supplier of a good product, but also the best partner.

"We said this year and that means our financial year which goes until the end of March. This will be the solution of the future and will change the digital industry."

The German press manufacturer's affirmation of its plan to partner with a digital equipment manufacturer came just one week after its rival Manroland beat it to the punch in announcing a digital tie-up with Oce.