Thursday, December 7, 2017

Flexible Packaging is Hot – November 2017 M&A Activity

In what’s arguably the hottest segment in the printing related industries, flexible packaging, TC Transcontinental has announced the acquisition of Flexipak, a Montreal-based flexographic printer of bags and stand-up pouches.

TC Transcontinental (TC) is a $1.6 billion (USD) printing and publishing company headquartered in Montreal with significant positions not only in printing but also in publishing newspapers and magazines, primarily serving Canadian audiences. With the obvious headwinds that these segments are facing, company management made the strategic decision to begin building a portfolio of packaging assets, utilizing their printing expertise, specifically web-based roll-fed technologies in which the company excelled in their high-volume operations. At the onset of this strategy in March 2014, when TC acquired its first flexible packaging company, François Olivier, President and CEO of TC, stated that the deal was the first indication of the company’s new strategic plan to grow through diversification. He added that flexible packaging was identified as a natural fit since the production process was in many ways similar to their current operations that ran roll-fed substrates and the market offered opportunities for growth. (see The Target Report – March 2014). Viewed from the perspective of its M&A activity, the company has remained laser-focused on implementing this strategy.

The announcement of its latest acquisition in November marks the company’s fifth deal in the flexible packaging segment. TC has acquired companies that might appear small relative to the total TC enterprise. The purchased companies have ranged in size from $27 million to $72 million (USD) in annual revenues, for a total in excess of $220 million revenues (not including this recent acquisition, for which revenues have not been disclosed). Lest there be any lack of clarity as to the company’s strategic direction, Isabell Marcoux, Chair of the Board of TC, reiterated in last year’s annual report that TC’s vision includes “transforming the organization to be a North American leader in flexible packaging.”

(Click on chart to view enlarged)

In our opinion, this is a great example of a planned, disciplined, articulate and well-executed strategy. The plan utilizes the company’s financial strength gained from its traditional foundation, in this case printing newspapers and magazines, to build out an entirely new expertise in a much more desirable (and likely sustainable over the long term) segment of the printing industry!


TricorBraun, a large manufacturer of rigid packaging (glass and plastic containers), with over 40 global locations, acquired Taipak, a flexible packaging printing company in Richmond, British Columbia. With this acquisition, TricorBraun, owned by PE firm AEA Investors, establishes its first foothold in the flexible packaging industry.

Graphic Packaging, the multi-billion dollar publicly-traded company that just last month took on the $1.6 billion consumer packaging division of International Paper Company, has announced another, albeit much smaller, acquisition in its sweet spot, the folding carton segment. The company is acquiring Seydaco Packaging, a folding carton printing company in Mississauga, Ontario with $40 million in revenues. EBITDA was reported being in the low double digits for the last twelve months, at a price reported that will be slightly less than 6 times EBITDA on a post-synergy basis.

Nosco is back on the deal-making path only a month after its last acquisition (see The Target Report – October 2017), this time acquiring the Knight Packaging Group located in Chicago. The acquired company is a departure from Nosco’s pharma-focused offerings, as Knight services the food industry, consumer products, as well as OTC products, offering packaging technologies such as blister packs and gabletop cartons, in additional to traditional folding cartons.

In the label segment, Western Shield Label acquired DAC Labels & Graphic Specialties, extending from its California base to the acquired location in Dallas, Texas. USA/Docufinish, a label printer in Yorkville, Illinois, was acquired in a management buyout.

Commercial Printing and Diversified Services

Kingery Printing Company, a commercial web and sheetfed printing company with operations in in Effingham and Henry, both in Illinois, acquired United Graphics* in Mattoon, Illinois. In addition to providing commercial printing services, United Graphics brings expertise in book printing and binding to the newly combined companies.

Anstadt Communications, based in York, Pennsylvania, reached all the way to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to acquire Central File Marketing, a provider of direct mail and marketing services specializing in the rent-to-own industry.

Thomas Printing, headquartered in Kalispell, Montana, acquired commercial printer Artcraft Printers in Billings, also in Montana. Commenting on the acquisition and in a timeless testament to the grit it takes to succeed in today’s printing industry, the senior owner of Thomas Printing stated for the local paper, “The giant oak is just a little nut that held its ground,” Frank said. “It’s been a long road. I’ve been fighting this goddamn game for 80 years, so pretty soon here we’re going to make it work.”

* Graphic Arts Advisors, publisher of The Target Report, served as advisors to Kingery Printing Graphics in this transaction.

2017 November - 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


Regent No Data Beverly Hills, CA Sunset Magazine
(Prop. Time Inc.)
No Data New York, NY 11/30/17 No Data Acquisition Magazine publishing Link
USA/Docufinish Mngt. No Data Yorkville, IL USA/Docufinish No Data Yorkville, IL 11/29/17 No Data Mngt. Buyout Label printing Link
LSC Communications $3,520 Chicago, IL The Clark Group
(Port co. The Gores Group)
No Data Hamilton, NJ 11/29/17 No Data Acquisition Print logistics Link
Western Shield Label No Data Rancho Dominguez, CA DAC Labels & Graphic Specialties No Data Dallas, TX 11/28/17 No Data Acquisition Label printing Link
Kingery Printing Company No Data Effingham, IL United Graphics No Data Mattoon, IL 11/28/17 No Data Acquisition Commercial printing Link
Meredith $1,710 Des Moines, IA Time $2,880 New York, NY 11/26/17 $2,800 Acquisition Magazine publishing Link
Thomas Printing No Data Kalispell, MT Artcraft Printers No Data Billings, MT 11/21/17 No Data Acquisition Commercial printing Link
(Port co. AEA Investors)
No Data St. Louis, MO Taipak No Data Richmond, BC 11/16/17 No Data Acquisition Flexible packaging Link
Anstadt Communications No Data York, PA Central File Marketing No Data Milwaukee, WI 11/14/17 No Data Acquisition Direct mail & marketing Link
Hot Frog Print Media No Data Mechanicsburg, PA Printed Image No Data Carlisle, PA 11/10/17 No Data Acquisition Commercial printing Link
LSC Communications $3,520 Chicago, IL Quality Park
(Div. Cenveo)
No Data Minneapolis, MN 11/9/17 No Data Acquisition Envelope manufacturing Link
Graphic Packaging $4,350 Atlanta, GA Seydaco Packaging $40.0 Mississauga, ON 11/9/17 No Data Acquisition Folding cartons Link
Mullen Family No Data Buffalo, WY The Nugget No Data Sisters, OR 11/8/17 No Data Acquisition Community newspaper Link
Martin Yale Industries
(Port co. LV2 Equity Partners)
No Data Wabash, IN Dry-Lam No Data Shawnee, KS 11/8/17 No Data Acquisition Laminating equip. & films Link
Blackford Capital No Data Grand Rapids, MI Kingsport Book No Data Church Hill, TN 11/6/17 No Data Acquisition Book binding services Link
Sentinel Capital Partners No Data New York, NY Nekoosa
(Port co. Wingate Partners)
No Data Nekoosa, WI 11/2/17 No Data Acquisition Specialty papers Link
Sun Chemical
(Div. Dainippon Ink & Chemicals)
$7,500 Parsippany, NJ Transitions Digital Graphics No Data Santa Barbara, CA 11/1/17 No Data Acquisition Specialty inks Link
HH Global $358.6 Sutton, UK PostNL Print Management $23.5 The Hague,
11/1/17 No Data Acquisition Print management Link
(Sub. Holden Industries)
No Data Waukegan, IL Knight Packaging Group No Data Chicago, IL 11/1/17 No Data Acquisition Folding cartons Link
Allegra Bozeman
No Data Bozeman, MT Bozeman Printing No Data Bozeman, MT 11/1/17 No Data Acquisition Printing & copying Link
Transcontinental $1,612 Montreal, QC Flexipak No Data Montreal, QC 11/1/17 No Data Acquisition Flexible packaging Link

2017 November - Bankruptcy Filings in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries

Filing Party

($Mil )

Case #

Filing Party Address


Region & City


Attorney for Debtor

Chapter 11 Filings:
Jones Printing LLC 11/10/17 No Data 17-15187 Chattanooga, TN 6th Eastern TN
Shelley D. Rucker David J. Fulton Commercial printing
Chapter 7 Filings:
No Rush Charge Reprographics, Inc. 11/28/17 No Data 17-14649 Irvine, CA 9th Central CA Erithe A. Smith Renee Nasiri  Reprographic services

2017 November - Non-Bankruptcy Closures in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries

Closed Company / Facility

Date of Closure
($Mil )

Closing Address
Related Party Related Party
Date Closure Public


NMD&D 12/14/17 No Data Irving, TX None N/A Nov-17 Transactional printing Link
Riegel Communications Group 12/13/17 No Data Ewing, NJ None N/A Nov-17 Commercial printing Link
Dutton Press 12/12/17 No Data Hialeah, FL None N/A Nov-17 Commercial printing Link