Sunday, August 5, 2012

Will Content Companies Spin off their Printing-Related Assets? – July 2012 M&A Activity

As if the printing industry needed someone to underscore the transition of content delivery from ink-on-paper to electronic media, the venerable Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) School of Print Media is changing its name to the School of Media Sciences. RIT, certainly a stalwart believer in the print medium, is simply recognizing what we all know: the role of print, for centuries the dominant form of content delivery, is just one of many delivery channels now available to content creators.

Not surprisingly, companies that are in the content creation business continue to divest the printing assets upon which their businesses once rested, choosing instead to focus on their core competency, namely the creation of the content. In a deal that demonstrates this, Brunswick Publishing, the publisher of The Times Record in Brunswick, Maine, spun off its printing facility, now known as Alliance Press.

The MultiAd Company, originally a supplier of “cut and paste” art for advertisers, sold off its printing division to The Brandt Company, a commercial printer. In 1983, MultiAd acquired its first four color press, a Heidelberg, for its own use, and subsequently entered the commercial printing business in 1992. As recently as 2005, the company was still investing in printing equipment, purchasing a 40” perfecting press. With the majority of its services now offered digitally, and with the sale of its printing assets, the company will outsource its ink-on-paper requirements.

In another deal illustrating the divestiture of printing-related assets, ANET Global solutions elected to focus on e-commerce and fulfillment, selling its American Mailers subsidiary to the direct mail specialist, Johnson & Quin. Lest anyone think that Johnson & Quin is neglecting digital media, the company president made sure to mention QR codes, customized microsites and mobile or email messaging in the press release announcing the acquisition.

On the distressed side of the ledger, Chapter 11’s are back on our deal log this month; however, we continue to observe, as we did in our June report, that, given the stresses on the printing industry, we might expect more companies to file for bankruptcy protection and seek to reorganize. One company that did file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July was National Litho, LLC, located in Miami Lakes, Florida. The company, reportedly one of the largest Hispanic-owned businesses in North America, continues to operate and is actively seeking interim financing and a buyer for the business.*

In a sign that the diversification strategy of evolving from a printer to a “marketing service provider” (MSP) has matured, is more competitive, and may no longer be a sure thing (if it ever was), the list of companies filing for bankruptcy includes several companies providing many of the buzz word services, including “transpromo”, “display graphics”, “wide format”, “banners” and “fulfillment services.” During our research, we found several companies that filed bankruptcy that had offered purely digital marketing services, and we listed one as an example, One to One Global in Boston, Massachusetts. Printers that that are planning to add extensively to their menu of services may want to view these company failures as cautionary signals, and think carefully about whether the market is ready to digest what they are planning to serve.

* Note: The Author of the Target Report serves as Senior Advisor to The Brownstein Corporation. The Brownstein Corporation is Financial Advisor to National Litho, LLC, and is seeking financing and/or prospective buyers for the company, under the supervision of the Court.

2012 July - Mergers and Acquisitions in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries

Deal Party #1
(Surviving Entity)
($Mil )

Party #1 Address

Deal Party #2
($Mil )

Party #2 Address

Deal Structure


Sir Speedy of Westbury No Data Westbury, NY Sir Speedy No Data Syosset, NY 7/31/12 No Data Acquisition Franchise Link
Brandt Co. No Data Davenport, IA Multi-Ad No Data Peoria, IL 7/30/12 No Data Divestiture Sale of printing division Link
Everest Group (PE Firm) No Data Omaha, NE No Data Portland, OR 7/26/12 No Data Acquisition Direct mail postcards Link
CCL Industries $1,268 (CN) Toronto, ON Pharmaceutical Division of
Graphitype Printing Services
$7.3 (AUD) Sydney, Australia 7/20/12 $7.0 (AUD) Acquisition - Partial Sale of pharma label division Link
Johnson & Quin $23.7 Niles, IL American Mailers No Data Naperville, IL 7/19/12 No Data Divestiture Sale of printing division Link
Marquis Book Printing No Data Cap-Saint-Ignace, QC Transcontinental $2,043 Montreal, QC 7/20/12 No Data Acquisition - Partial Sale of 2 book printing plants Link
Pearson £5,900 London, UK Author Solutions
(Bertram Capital)
$100.0 Bloomington, IN 7/19/12 $116.0 Acquisition Self-publishing services Link
Inverness Graham Investments No Data Newtown Square, PA DataSource No Data Kansas City, MO 7/13/12  No Data Acquisition Print management services Link
Alliance Press No Data Brunswick, ME Brunswick Publishing No Data Brunswick, ME 7/12/12 No Data Divestiture Sale of printing division Link
Custom Index No Data Totowa, NJ Thompson Paper Products No Data Houston, TX 7/12/12 No Data Acquisition File folder products Link
Spiral James Burn No Data Totowa, NJ Northeast Binding Systems No Data Pleasantville, NY 7/12/12 No Data Acquisition Presentation products Link
Taylor Corporation
(Venture Solutions)
No Data North Mankato, MN Venture Encoding No Data Fort Worth, TX 7/10/12 No Data Acquisition Financial marketing Link
Beat Studios No Data Chicago, IL Centermark Graphics No Data Chicago, IL 7/10/12 No Data Acquisition Prepress & print mngt. Link
Investcorp No Data New York, NY Archway Marketing Services No Data Rogers, MN 7/9/12 $300.0 Acquisition Fulfillment & Print Mngt. Link
Mount Royal Printing No Data Baltimore, MD Fannon Fine Printing No Data Alexandria, VA 7/2/12 No Data Acquisition
Commercial Printing Link

2012 July - Bankruptcy Filings in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries

Filing Party

($Mil )

Case #

Filing Party Address


Region & City


Attorney for Debtor

Chapter 11 Filings:
National Litho, LLC 7/22/12 No Data 12-27566 Miami Lakes, FL 11th Southern FL
Laurel M. Isicoff Luis Salazar Commercial printing, web & sheetfed
One2One Communications, LLC 7/10/12 No Data 12-27311 Hackettstown, NJ 3rd New Jersey
Novalyn L. Winfield Richard D. Trenk Transpromo document processing
Aitdigital, LLC 7/4/12 No Data 12-23246 Orangeburg, NY 2nd Southern NY
White Plains
Robert D. Drain Rosemarie E. Matera  Retail display & vehicle wraps
Chapter 7 Filings:
Empire Signs and Graphics, Inc. 7/31/12 No Data 12-12030 Clifton Park, NY 2nd Northern NY
Robert E. Littlefield Jr. Brian H. Bronsther Signs & banners
One to One Global, Inc. 7/31/12 No Data 12-16382 Boston, MA 1st Massachusetts
William C. Hillman James Tucker Bradley  Digital marketing, web, social media
Manhattan Color, Inc. 7/30/12 No Data 12-45539 Long Island City, NY 2nd Eastern NY
Jerome Feller M. David Graubard  Commercial printing
Micron Paper, Inc. 7/30/12 No Data 12-35995 La Puente, CA 9th Central CA
Los Angeles
Thomas B. Donovan Jason J.L. Yang Signs & banners
Westlake Graphics, Inc. 7/16/12 No Data 12-28042 Bloomingdale, IL 7th Northern IL
Donald R Cassling David E Grochocinski  Design, print brokering
Pacific Printing & Fulfillment
(DBA Pacific Printing & Publications, Inc.)
7/9/12 No Data 12-32724 Folsom, CA 9th Eastern CA
Robert S. Bardwil Philip J. Rhodes  Printing & fulfillment services