Saturday, December 7, 2013

Private Equity Interested in Printing if it’s Packaging – November 2013 M&A Activity

Private equity interest in packaging printing and manufacturing remains high; while in general there is much less interest in the commercial printing and publishing sectors. This was the overwhelming response that I received during the past month in my conversations with partners and professionals from more than sixty private equity firms, in which I asked about their interest in the various industries that put “ink on substrates.” My impressions were borne out as PE funds announced significant deals in November, all related to the packaging sector.

Multi Packaging Solutions, recently acquired by Madison Dearborn Partners from Irving Place Capital, announced that the company has agreed to a merger with Chesapeake Services Limited, backed by The Carlye Group. Multi Packaging Solutions is a US-based packaging printer with several locations in Europe. Chesapeake Services is a UK-based packaging printer with multiple plants throughout Europe, several plants in the US, and two plants in China. Both companies have a major commitment to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, with many facilities dedicated to the special needs of these markets. Each company also has expertise in consumer branded packaging; Multi Packaging Solutions brings strengths in the entertainment industry; and Chesapeake Services brings four plants that manufacture plastic containers to the combined enterprise. Together, these two PE-backed companies begin to form a new global powerhouse in the business of printing packaging.

Transilwrap, a manufacturer, converter, and distributor of plastic films, was sold by its PE owner, Nicolet Capital Partners, to another fund, The Jordan Company. The company’s products are used in a wide variety of printing and packaging applications.

Paper merchants were active. Mac Papers, the leading distributor of paper to printing companies in the Southeast US, hopes to offset the declining volume of its printing papers business with its acquisition of Alles. The acquired company distributes a wide variety of packing supplies and equipment. Rather than branching out from its paper distribution business, Bradner Central, a paper merchant with locations throughout the Midwest and Texas, called it quits after more than 160 years as a family-owned company, and agreed to be acquired by Central National-Gottesman. This is Central National-Gottesman’s sixth acquisition of a paper merchant in the past four years, continuing the trend towards vertical integration of the fine printing paper business, exemplified by International Paper’s xpedx business unit.

In addition to announcing its merger in November, Multi Packaging Solutions is listed on our deal log for plant closures. The company will be shutting down its printing facility in Terre Haute, Indiana. The plant, formerly owned by Ivy Hill, produces packaging for audio and video products. Demand for those products has declined, leading to the decision to close the plant.

In a continuation of a trend we have noted before, another regional newspaper has announced that it plans to shut down its own printing plant and outsource the printing of its paper to another newspaper with a more efficient printing facility. In making the announcement, the publisher of the Star-Telegram of Fort Worth, Texas, stated that he planned to focus on the paper’s core competencies and produce quality journalism for readers and serve advertisers with print and digital solutions. The Dallas Morning News organization landed the contract to print the Star-Telegram.

2013 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


Jordan Company No Data New York, NY Transilwrap No Data Franklin Park, IL 11/22/13 No Data Acquisition Packaging films Link
Print NW No Data Lakewood, WA ABC Printing No Data Lacey, WA 11/20/13 No Data Acquisition Commercial printing Link
(Sub. of Visant)
$1,155 Minneapolis, MN American Achievement No Data Austin, TX 11/19/13 No Data Acquisition Yearbooks & keepsakes Link
Multi Packaging Solutions No Data New York, NY Chesapeake Services Limited No Data Nottingham,
England, UK
11/19/13 No Data Merger Packaging
(combined $1.4Bil revenue)
(Sub. of Deluxe)
$1,550 Dallas, TX Prime Business Solutions No Data Akron, OH 11/15/13 No Data Acquisition Printing & promotional items Link
Electronics for Imaging (EFI) $704.6 Foster City, CA Lector Computersysteme No Data Mönchengladbach,
11/13/13 No Data Acquisition MIS systems for printing Link
Central National-Gottesman
(Lindenmeyr Munroe)
No Data Purchase, NY Bradner Central No Data Elk Grove, IL 11/4/13 No Data Asset acquisition Paper merchants/distribution Link
SourceOne Output Technologies No Data Little Rock, AR Wheeler Printing No Data Hot Springs, AR 11/4/13 No Data Acquisition Commercial printing Link
Mac Papers No Data Jacksonville, FL Alles No Data Hialeah, FL 11/1/13 No Data Acquisition Packaging supply distribution Link
Creative Graphics No Data Prior Lake, MN B2B No Data St. Paul, MN 11/1/13 No Data Asset acquisition Marketing services Link

2013 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:
Marketing IV, Inc. 11/19/13 No Data 13-44895 Elmhurst, IL 7th Northern IL
Janet S. Baer Richard G. Larsen  Commercial printing
Chapter 7 Filings:
DFDC Enterprises Inc 11/27/13 No Data 13-45911 Bloomingdale, IL 7th Northern IL
Donald R. Cassling Timothy M. Hughes  Point-of-Purchase displays
Integrity Packaging 11/6/13 No Data 13-36946 Houston, TX 5th Southern TX
David R. Jones Matthew Scott Okin  Folding cartons

2013 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


M&M Printing Dec-13 No Data Trenton, NJ None N/A 11/11/13 Printing & copying Link
Printing Facility
1st Qtr '14 No Data Edgecliff Village, TX The Dallas Morning News
(Gained printing contract)
Plano, TX 11/7/13 Newspaper outsourcing print operations Link
Multi Packaging Solutions - Printing Facility Oct-13 No Data Terre Haute, IN Multi Packaging Solutions New York, NY 11/4/13 Formerly an Ivy Hill plant Link