Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Travel Guide Founder Resurrects Printed Edition to Compete with Google – April 2013 M&A Activity

Is there print after Google? The 83-year old founder of the Frommer’s brand travel guides certainly thinks so. Less than eight months after Google purchased the iconic Frommer’s brand from publisher John Wiley & Sons, Google has sold the brand to founder Arthur Frommer. Frommer, who originally sold his company in 1977, plans to rescind Google’s decision to cease printing and start up the presses once again. He’ll have to compete with the online services offered by Google, which claims to have gleaned all the travel content it wanted before selling the brand back to Frommer. We reported on Google’s purchase of Frommer’s in August 2012, suggesting that the acquisition was indicative that content is king. Since Google now has the content, can the resurrected print edition survive?

The evolution of printing companies into internet savvy multi-media service providers continued with deals consummated by some of the signature names in the printing industry. Quad Graphics purchased a minority interest in Pixability, a company that provides expertise and analytics for video advertisers using the YouTube platform. Courier, one of America’s oldest and largest book printers, acquired FastPencil, a content management and self-publishing platform. Shutterfly, never a traditional printer, acquired MyPublisher, building on its strong position in personal printed products sold through online storefronts.

Manufacturers of printing devices moved major pieces around on the international game board. Lexmark, as we reported in March, is moving away from the devices and firmly into managing content and delivering that content to a wide variety of output devices, sold its inkjet business to Funai Electric of Osaka, Japan. Moving in the opposite direction, Brother Industries, also headquartered in Japan, took the stalking horse position as the buyer of scanners and related assets in a proposed 363 sale in Kodak’s bankruptcy proceeding.

When it announced its purchase of Wausau’s specialty paper business last month, KPS Capital Partners hinted that it had a second target in its sight. Contingent on the completion of the Wausau transaction, KPS will acquire Thilmany Papers’ two mills that produce specialty papers. The new entity will comprise four Wisconsin mills and has yet to be named, but it’s clear that general commercial grades need not apply.

Consistent with the larger trend reported across all industries, the number of bankruptcies filed in the printing industry appears to have also declined. We found only three Chapter 7 bankruptcies, and no Chapter 11 fi
lings. The Edward Hine Company, which ceased operations back in 2011, finally filed Chapter 7 liquidation.
The decline in the use of three of the most traditional and challenged forms of printing led to two plant closings in the newspaper business, as local publishers in New Hampshire and Washington shut down their presses and outsourced the printing of their papers. SuperMedia is closing its plant in New York State that prints phone books, and check printing Deluxe Corporation will shut its plant in Indiana before year end.

2013 April - 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


Shutterfly $641.0 Redwood City, CA MyPublisher No Data New York, NY 4/30/13 No Data Acquisition Custom photo books Link
Quad Graphics $4,324 Sussex, WI Pixability No Data Cambridge, MA 4/30/13 No Data Minority interest YouTube & video advertising Link
Courier $261.3 North Chelmsford, MA FastPencil No Data Campbell, CA 4/30/13 No Data Acquisition Publishing software Link
Anderson & Vreeland No Data Bryan, OH Provident Group No Data Englewood, CO 4/25/13 No Data Acquisition Flexo supplies Link
KPS Capital Partners No Data New York, NY Thilmany Papers No Data Kaukauna, WI 4/23/13 No Data Acquisition Mfg. specialty papers Link
Brother Industries $1,500 Nagoya, Japan Eastman Kodak
(Document Imaging Assets)
$7,200 Rochester, NY 4/15/13 $210.0 363 Sale in Ch. 11 Scanners, software & services Link
Ace Lithographers No Data East Hanover, NJ Twill No Data Berkeley, NJ 4/15/13 No Data Acquisition
Commercial printing Link
Tampa Media Group No Data Tampa, FL Clearwater Gazette No Data Clearwater, FL 4/9/13 No Data Acquisition Regional newspaper Link
Arthur Frommer No Data Mountain View, CA Frommer's Travel Guides
(John Wiley & Sons)
No Data Mountain View, CA 4/5/13 No Data Acquisition Travel Guides Link
Hilex Poly No Data Hartsville, SC Clondalkin Group
(Flexible packaging unit)
No Data Philadelphia, PA 4/4/13 No Data Acquisition Flexible packaging Link
Packaging Coordinators No Data Philadelphia, PA AndersonBrecon No Data Rockford, IL 4/2/13 $308.0 Acquisition Contract pharma packaging Link
Funai Electric ¥295,923 Osaka, Japan Lexmark
(Inkjet business)
$3,798 Lexington, KY 4/1/13 ¥9,500 Acquisition Inkjet patents & mfg. Link
Full House Press
(Full House/Minuteman)
No Data Bel Air, MD Minuteman Press No Data Bel Air, MD 4/1/13 No Data Merger Commercial print Link

2013 April - Bankruptcy Filings in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries

Filing Party

($Mil )

Case #

Filing Party Address


Region & City


Attorney for Debtor

Chapter 11 Filings:
No Chapter 11 Filings Found this Month --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
Chapter 7 Filings:
Squire Corrugated Container Corp. 4/19/13 No Data 13-18378 South Plainfield, NJ 3rd New Jersey
Trenton, NJ
Raymond T. Lyons, Jr. Pro Se Corrugated cartons & POP displays
Edward Hine Company 4/10/13 No Data 13-80732 Peoria, IL 7th Central IL
Thomas L. Perkins Sumner Bourne Commercial Printing
Cousin Graphics
(DBA Sir Speedy)
4/16/13 No Data 13-71988 Hicksville, NY 2nd  Eastern NY
Central Islip
Dorothy Eisenberg Charles H Scupp Printing & copying

2013 April - 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


Herald 4/28/13 No Data Everett, WA Sound Publishing
(Gained printing contract)
Poulsbo, WA  4/27/13 Newspaper outsourcing print operations Link
New Hampshire Union Leader
Printing Facility
Jun-13 No Data Manchester, NH Seacoast Media Group
(Gained printing contract)
Dover, NH 4/25/13 Newspaper outsourcing print operations Link
Beacon Printing Apr-13 No Data Dana Point, CA None N/A 4/25/13 Commercial printing Link
SuperMedia - Printing Facility No Data No Data Albany, NY Merging w/ Dex One Dallas, TX 4/3/13 Publisher of phone books Link
Deluxe Corp - Printing Facility Dec-13 No Data New Albany, IN Deluxe Corp. Shoreview, MN 4/15/13 Check printing Link