Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Cloak and Dagger Inks Fight Counterfeiters – June 2015 M&A Activity


Australian company YPB announced that it has acquired California-based printing company, Continuous Forms Control (CFC), to introduce its covert ink compounds into the US market. YPB develops and manufactures unique ingredients that are blended into inks and coatings and that cannot be seen, damaged or removed from the product or package being printed. This effectively creates a specific “product DNA” which forever identifies that product as the genuine article, discernable to anyone with the corresponding handheld scanners programmed to recognize the specific secret compound. The company anticipates that the packaging, fashion label and pharmaceutical sectors will utilize its printing services at the acquired company to combat counterfeiters who will not be able to match the unique chemical markers blended into the inks. The company completes the loop with its Brand Reporter software that enables field agents to use their smart phones to report suspicious items to corporate headquarters, including photos with geo-located tags. YPB’s most recent investor presentation projects revenues in the US to grow to $10 million as CFC incorporates the covert inks into millions of product labels. 

In addition to YPB, other acquirers continue to invest in the two basic elements common to all printing, ink and the underlying substrates. Sun Chemical, the world’s largest ink manufacturer, expanded its reach into Southeast Europe, acquiring full control of its joint venture in the region. Epson, manufacturer of inkjet printing devices, acquired Italian company For.Tex which develops, manufactures and sells specialty inks and coatings used to digitally print textiles.

The consolidation of the distribution of printing papers, the most commons printing substrate, continues at a steady pace. Global paper and pulp distributor Central National-Gottesman added another distributor to its network late last month with the purchase of Los Angeles-based Performance Paper. The acquired company was added to its Spicers division which distributes printing papers throughout the western states. This acquisition marks the fifth printing papers distributor that the family-owned Central National-Gottesman company has acquired since 2012, building on the network begun in 1984 when company acquired Lindenmeyr and shortly thereafter bolted on the Munroe company. On a much smaller scale, Mac Papers, a roll-up of mom-and-pop paper distributors in the Southeast, acquired Packaging Professionals in Lewisburg, Tennessee.

Private equity investment firm The Jordan Company added to its investment in the category of plastic printing substrates primarily used in packaging applications. Transilwrap, acquired by The Jordan Company in 2013 (see The Target Report – November 2013), itself acquired Ellis Industrial Packaging, adding to its line of converted films and specialty plastics used in printing and packaging. Sun Capital Partners acquired Canadian paper and packaging company CanAmPac through its portfolio company PaperWorks, adding to its significant investments in the printing, packaging and paper industries. The acquisition includes the Strathcona mill that manufactures paperboard for packaging exclusively using recycled fibers.

Commercial Printing and Document Management

Taylor Corporation emerged as the winning bidder for printing and document management company Standard Register in the 363 sale in bankruptcy with an offer of $307 million. Based on the most recently reported revenues of $904 million, Taylor’s offer equals 34% of trailing revenues, a price higher than the 29% of projected revenues that Quad/Graphics paid for the presumably more financially sound Brown Printing in April 2014. Standard Register filed bankruptcy just this past March, reportedly unable to meet its obligations from the debt incurred with its own acquisition of print management company Workflow One in 2013 (see The Target Report – August 2013). One day after winning Standard Register, Taylor Corporation announced the acquisition of NEPS, a much smaller New Hampshire-based document management company.

Commercial printer Excelsior Printing is closing its printing operations in North Adams, Massachusetts, after 125 years, transitioning the remaining business to Integrity Graphics in Windsor, Connecticut. The venerable printing company operated in a classic New England brick mill building and had been owned by the Crane family since 1970, operating first under the ownership of Crane & Co., manufacturers of specialty papers including for much of the world’s paper currency, then under David Crane since 2008.

Jones Printing in Chattanooga, Tennessee continued the un-rolling of the once acquisitive roll-up Nationwide Argosy, as the management team completed a management buyout, returning the company to its original status as a single stand-alone commercial printing company.

Retail and Display

GSP, a retail display design and production company located in Clearwater, Florida acquired Great Big Pictures in Madison, Wisconsin, adding 80,000 square feet of manufacturing space and expanding to the Midwest. Great Big Pictures specializes in the production of in-store graphics and display.

Privately owned packaging powerhouse Menasha Packaging is back on our deal log for the fourth time with an acquisition in the retail display segment, acquiring Portable Packaging in Mississauga, Ontario. Portable Packaging provides design services and pre-packed displays for retailers and consumer goods companies.

Packaging

Flexible packaging continues to be a very active segment for deals. PE firm Mason Wells acquired Minneapolis-based AWT Labels & Packaging, a producer of flexible packaging, digitally printed labels, and shrink sleeves. Coveris, a portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners based in Chicago announced two acquisitions of flexible packaging companies in June, expanding its presence as a major player in the increasingly global packaging segment, with the acquisition of Elldex Packaging Solutions in New Zealand and the other being Guatemala-based Olefinas which also operates in Mexico. Fortis Solutions Group acquired two label printing companies, Color Craft Label in Memphis, Tennessee and Kopco Graphics in Westchester, Ohio which also produces flexible packaging as well as labels.

Newspapers

The churn in the regional and local newspaper industry continues unabated. Adams Publishing Group was active for the second time this year, acquiring the Southern Maryland Newspapers from Post Community Media, including 13 publications and associated websites. This follows six deals, each involving multiple titles, completed by Adams in 2014. New Media Investment Group announced the acquisition of The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio which ends 110 years of family ownership of the paper and its related publications. New Media now publishes 126 daily publications, in excess of 550 community publications and over 460 related websites.



2015 June - Mergers and Acquisitions in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries  

Deal Party #1
(Surviving Entity)
Pre-Deal
Revenues
($Mil )


Party #1 Address


Deal Party #2
Pre-Deal
Revenues
($Mil )


Party #2 Address
Date
Deal
Public
Deal
Value
($Mil)

Deal Structure
(Intermediary)


Notes

Press
Releases
CC Industries
(sub. Henry Crown & Co.)
No Data Chicago, IL J.L. Clark
(sub. Clarcor)
$77.0 Rockford, IL 6/30/15 No Data Acquisition Metal & plastic packaging Link
Mason Wells No Data Milwaukee, WI AWT Labels & Packaging No Data Minneapolis, MN  6/28/15 No Data Acquisition Flexible packaging Link
Gateway Packaging No Data St. Louis, MO Apex Bag No Data Wapakoneta, OH 6/23/15 No Data Acquisition Multiwall bags Link
Taylor Corp. No Data Mankato, MN NEPS No Data Salem, NH 6/18/15 No Data Asset Acquisition Document mngt. Link
Taylor Corp. No Data Mankato, MN Standard Register $904.0 Dayton, OH 6/17/15 $307.0 363 Sale in Ch. 11 Printing & document mngt. Link
Integrity Graphics No Data Windsor, CT Excelsior Printing No Data N. Adams, MA 6/13/15 No Data Acquisition Commercial printing Link
Adams Publishing Group No Data Minneapolis, MN Southern Maryland Newspapers
(Div.  Post Community Media)
No Data Waldorf, MD 6/12/15 No Data Acquisition Community newspapers Link
Jones Printing No Data Chattanooga, TN Jones Solutions
(Sub. Nationwide Argosy)
No Data Houston, TX 6/12/15 No Data Mngt. buyout Commercial printing Link
Transilwrap No Data Franklin Park, IL Ellis Industrial Packaging No Data South Glamorgan,
UK
6/9/15 No Data Acquisition Specialty film & foils Link
Fortis Solutions Group No Data Virginia Beach, VA Color Craft Label No Data Memphis, TN 6/5/15 No Data Acquisition Label printing Link
Fortis Solutions Group No Data Virginia Beach, VA Kopco Graphics No Data West Chester, OH 6/5/15 No Data Acquisition Label printing Link
GSP No Data Clearwater, FL  Great Big Pictures No Data Madison, WI 6/5/15 No Data Asset Acquisition Retail graphics & display Link
PaperWorks Industries No Data Bala Cynwyd, PA CanAmPac No Data Napanee, ON 6/5/15 No Data Acquisition Paperboard mills & packaging Link
J&S Business Products No Data Ayer, MA ValueCalendars.com No Data Ayer, MA 6/4/15 No Data Buyout & spin-off Online print storefronts Link
Menasha Packaging No Data Neenah, WI Portable Packaging No Data Mississauga, ON 6/4/15 No Data Acquisition Retail displays Link
New Media Investment Group $760.9 New York, NY The Columbus Dispatch No Data Columbus, OH 6/3/15 $47.0 Acquisition Regional & newspapers Link
YPB No Data Sydney, Australia Continuous Forms Control No Data Laguna Niguel, CA 6/2/15 No Data Acquisition Forms and label printing Link
Gannett $6,080 McLean, VA York Daily Record
(sub. Digital First Media)
No Data New York, NY 6/1/15 No Data Acquisition Metro & regional newspapers Link
Gannett $6,080 McLean, VA Texas-New Mexico Newspapers
(sub. Digital First Media)
No Data New York, NY 6/1/15 No Data Acquisition Metro & regional newspapers Link
Coveris
(Port. co. Sun Capital Partners)
$2,759 Chicago, IL Olefinas No Data Villa Nueva,
Guatemala
6/1/15 No Data Acquisition Flexible packaging Link
Sun Chemical $3,500 Parsippany, NJ Sun Chemical SE Europe
(5 countries)
$30.0 Aspropyrgos,
Greece
6/1/15 No Data Buyout of JV Printing inks & coatings Link
Mac Papers No Data Jacksonville, FL Packaging Professionals No Data Lewisburg, TN 6/1/15 No Data Asset Acquisition Paper & supply distribution Link
Coveris
(Port. co. Sun Capital Partners)
$2,759 Chicago, IL Elldex Packaging Solutions No Data Auckland,
New Zealand
6/1/15 No Data Acquisition Flexible packaging Link
Epson $9,100 Tokyo, Japan For.Tex € 24.0 Fino Mornasco,
Italy
6/1/15 No Data Acquisition Textile inks Link


2015 June - Bankruptcy Filings in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries



Filing Party

Date
Case
Filed
Pre-Petition
Revenues
($Mil )



Case #



Filing Party Address



Circuit



Region & City



Judge



Attorney for Debtor



Notes
Chapter 11 Filings:
No Chapter 11 Filings Found this Month --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Chapter 7 Filings:
Custom Media Group 6/23/165 No Data 15-11302 Santa Barbara, CA 9th Central CA
Santa Barbara
Peter Carroll Carissa N. Horowitz Custom publications
Printec 6/22/15 No Data 15-06422 Clearwater, FL 11th Middle FL
Tampa
K. Rodney May  Jeffrey R. Thibault Commercial printing


2015 June - Non-Bankruptcy Closures in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries



Closed Company / Facility

Date of Closure
Pre-Closure
Revenues
($Mil )



Closing Address
Related Party Related Party
Address
Date Closure Public


Notes

Press
Releases
B&W Press Jun-15 No Data Georgetown, MA None N/A 6/25/15 Direct mail printing Link
Gannett - Printing Plant Jul-15 No Data Maple Grove, MN Gannett Co. McLean, VA 6/2/15 USA Today outsourced to Star Tribune
St. Cloud Times outsourced to ECM Printing
Link

Monday, June 8, 2015

De-evolution for eBooks Platform? – May 2015 M&A Activity


ProQuest, the world-class provider of digital content to libraries and researchers announced its commitment to provide printed copies of books with its acquisition of Coutts Information Service from the global book distributor and on-demand printer, Ingram Content Group. As part of the deal, ProQuest will now deliver its content in “e and p” format through an ongoing relationship with Ingram. 

ProQuest traces its history back to 1872, when R.R. Bowker launched Publishers Weekly. The company has evolved to become a mammoth repository and global provider of digital content: with over 90,000 qualified sources, 6 billion digital pages spanning six centuries, the world’s largest collection of academic dissertations and thesis, in excess of 20 million scanned pages of global, national, regional and specialty newspapers, more than 450,000 books, scores of scholarly journals, and unique digitized collections from the world’s great museums and libraries, as well as archives from organizations and other sources such as the Associated Press. The company provides this digitized content to libraries and serious corporate, government, academic, professional and other researchers through a variety of automated online search and document management platforms.

It’s clear that ProQuest is a great home and superbly well-suited strategic buyer for Coutts Information Services, which through its MyiLibrary and Oasis platforms offers access to more than 13 million print titles and over half a million ebook titles. However, in a nod to the more classic form of the book, ink-on-paper, ProQuest will also offer access to Ingram’s extensive inventory of printed books and the ability to order titles in printed form through Ingram’s on-demand print and delivery network. Maybe it’s not de-evolution after all, rather an enlightened co-evolution of “e and p” books.

Commercial Printing

Direct mail combined with variable data printing technology has proven to be an attractive recipe for acquisitions in the commercial printing segment. Chicago-based Vision Integrated Graphics announced the acquisition of direct marketing printer and lettershop Tobe Direct, resulting in a company with total revenues now in excess of $70 million. This is not a “tuck-in” transaction to rationalize overcapacity; Vision Integrated Graphics committed to retain Tobe’s location and all of its employees, and will now have four locations around Chicago.

DOME Print & Marketing Solutions is back on the deal log for the second month in a row, following up on its April acquisition of a wide format printer with the purchase in May of the assets of American Web. The acquired company, also located in Sacramento, California, brings a proprietary e-commerce software platform to DOME, along with other digital marketing services.

Packaging


Kapstone Paper & Packaging, a $2.3 billion revenue producer of kraft paper, containerboard and corrugated packaging products, acquired Victory Packaging/Golden State Container. Victory, based in Houston, Texas, has more than 65 distribution facilities across the US. The acquisition strategically builds a more vertically integrated supplier of packaging products. Kapstone paid an eye-popping $615 million, 11.2 times Victory’s 2014 EBITDA of $55 million, plus contingent earnouts of $45 million, raising the price to an even 12 times EBITDA. Even in the event that the earnouts don’t pan out, and accounting for $100 million of realizable tax benefits, the multiple paid is still a very robust 9.4 times.

Green Bay Packaging, which acquired Great Lakes Packaging and Midland Container in October, 2014, was active again in May with its acquisition of Baird Display, printer and manufacturer of point-of-purchase retail marketing displays.

Newspapers

Consolidation continues unabated in the newspaper publishing segment, as publishers try to stay ahead of the ongoing downward spiral in subscription and advertising revenue. Chicago’s Tribune Publishing, itself only recently spun out of the Tribune Company last August in the great disgorgement spree of print media from major multi-platform companies (see The Target Reports June 2014 and July 2014), acquired the San Diego Union-Tribune and affiliated titles. Shortly after closing the deal, the company announced it was closing the acquired printing facility and moving production to its new sister newspaper, The Los Angeles Times, affirming another trend we have noted, the regionalization of newspaper production enabled by more efficient presses and driven by open capacity on those presses as run lengths and page counts decline.

Also on the west coast, a much smaller player in the newspaper roll-up trend, Metro Newspapers in San Jose, California acquired The Pacific Sun which serves the San Rafael area. The parent company now publishes eight papers with a combined weekly circulation of 190,000.

Equipment

Swiss-based manufacturer of first-rate diecutting presses, the Bobst Group, acquired the Italian manufacturer of flexographic printing presses, Nuova Gidue, once again demonstrating the continued strength of the flexo printing process, especially in the packaging segment. Other recent deals have included Heidelberg’s acquisition of Gallus, the Swiss-based flexo press manufacturer, and KBA’s acquisition of Italy-based Flexotecnica. 


2015 May - Mergers and Acquisitions in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries  

Deal Party #1
(Surviving Entity)
Pre-Deal
Revenues
($Mil )


Party #1 Address


Deal Party #2
Pre-Deal
Revenues
($Mil )


Party #2 Address
Date
Deal
Public
Deal
Value
($Mil)

Deal Structure
(Intermediary)


Notes

Press
Releases
Central National-Gottesman $5,000 Purchase, NY Performance Paper
(Sub. Cellmark)
No Data Los Angeles, CA 5/20/15 No Data Acquisition Paper distribution Link
Bobst Group $1,399 Lausanne,
Switzerland
Nuova Gidue No Data Campi Bisenzio,
Italy
5/13/15 No Data Controlling Interest Flexo printing presses Link
DOME Print & Marketing Solutions No Data Sacramento, CA American Web No Data Sacramento, CA 5/13/15 No Data Asset Acquisition E-commerce software Link
Tribune Publishing $1,690 Chicago, IL MLIM
(San Diego Union-Tribune)
No Data San Diego, CA 5/8/15 $185.0 Acquisition Metro & regional newspapers Link
Metro Newspapers No Data San Jose, CA The Pacific Sun No Data San Rafael, CA 5/7/15 No Data Acquisition Community newspaper Link
Vision Integrated Graphics No Data Chicago, IL Tobe Direct No Data Bolingbrook, IL 5/6/15 No Data Acquisition Direct marketing / lettershop
(Combined $70Mil revenue)
Link
Safeguard Business Systems
(Sub. of Deluxe)
$1,700 Dallas, TX Fontis Solutions $40.0 Irvine, CA 5/5/15 No Data Acquisition Print & marketing services Link
Kapstone Paper & Packaging $2,300 Northbrook, IL  Victory Packaging/
Golden State Container
$953.0 Houston, TX 5/5/15 $515.0 Asset Acquisition Packaging distribution Link
Green Bay Packaging No Data Green Bay, WI Baird Display No Data Waukesha, WI 5/4/15 No Data Acquisition Point-of-Purchase displays Link
ProQuest No Data Ann Arbor, MI Coutts Information Services
(sub. Ingram)
No Data Avon House, UK 5/1/15 No Data Acquisition Book systems for libraries Link


2015 May - Bankruptcy Filings in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries



Filing Party

Date
Case
Filed
Pre-Petition
Revenues
($Mil )



Case #



Filing Party Address



Circuit



Region & City



Judge



Attorney for Debtor



Notes
Chapter 11 Filings:
Advanced Graphics, Inc. 5/27/15 No Data 15-50718 Stratford, CT 2nd Connecticut
Bridgeport, CT
Alan H.W. Shiff James Berman Screen & pad printing
Chapter 7 Filings:
No Chapter 7 Filings Found this Month --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---


2015 May - Non-Bankruptcy Closures in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries



Closed Company / Facility

Date of Closure
Pre-Closure
Revenues
($Mil )



Closing Address
Related Party Related Party
Address
Date Closure Public


Notes

Press
Releases
San Diego Union-Tribune - Printing Plant 5/27/15 No Data Mission Valley, CA Tribune Publishing Chicago, IL 5/27/15 Consolidating print operations Link