Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Roll-Up Returns (to Commercial Printing) – September 2014 M&A Activity

It’s been a long downhill slide for roll-up activity in the commercial printing industry. The major players have either exited the field (Consolidated Graphics), partially disintegrated (Nationwide Argosy, né Nationwide Graphics), or struggled with their own lack of clear strategic direction (Cenveo, né Mail-Well). That void may soon be filled by regional players that are stretching beyond the boundaries of their original core operation. In contrast to those aforementioned major league teams that were fueled by shares issued in the public markets, the new draft of contenders are energized and coached by private equity funds flush with cash and the ability to borrow at very favorable rates from eager lenders.

OneTouchPoint, a roll-up headquartered in Chicago, appears ready to make the leap to the majors. The company was sold in September to ICV Partners, a private equity fund committed to “take OneTouchPoint and its platform to the next level.” Originally named TouchPoint Print Solutions, the company was founded only seven years ago with support from Huron Capital Partners, its previous owners. OneTouchPoint now employs over 950, with acquired operations in Wisconsin, Ohio, Texas and Colorado. Although the company had only one appearance on our deal log in the past three years with its acquisition of Ginny’s Printing in Austin, Texas in December, 2011, I expect we’ll see more action from the new owners.

The Mittera Group, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, has been on a roll, consolidating printing companies in its backyard in Iowa. Last year, the company began expanding geographically with its acquisition of Wisconsin Web Offset. The company just announced another acquisition of J.B. Kenehan, a commercial printer with two web and sheetfed plants in Wisconsin. The company reports that this latest acquisition brings the combined sales to $135 million with 750 employees.

The Garvey Group has been a repeat acquirer on our deal log, most recently acquiring retail display printer Troyk printing in Franklin, Michigan this past May. Especially interesting was Garvey’s acquisition of Schawk’s wide format division in Los Angeles last year, which gives this Midwest-centric collection of companies the ability to claim itself a national player. (See The Target Report - July, 2013 for more).

And maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t count Nationwide Argosy out. The former 90’s roll-up star has pared down to just 7 companies in 10 locations, retreating from its national footprint, now concentrated in Southeast and Texas. The company’s new website proclaims a strong balance sheet, and states that the company is actively seeking companies to join the Nationwide Argosy family of printing companies. 

In the newspaper segment, Adams Publishing Group continues its steady drumbeat of acquisitions as it rolls-up local and community newspapers, this month acquiring twice-weekly newspaper, The Athens News of Athens, Ohio. Adams has completed similar acquisitions for three months in a row, following on the heels of its home run deal in March this year in which it acquired 34 newspapers and other properties, stretching from Wisconsin to Maryland.

In flexible packaging, it appears that York, Pennsylvania C-P Flexible Packaging is preparing to get in the roll-up game. With backing from First Atlantic Capital, the company acquired MRI Flexible Packaging with plants in Newtown and Bensalem, Pennsylvania. The fund’s Managing Director, Emilio Pedrioni, was clear that acquiring MRI is the “first step” in building on its investment in C-P Flexible Packaging. It won’t be a surprise if we see more deals bolted onto this flexible packaging platform, supported by First Atlantic.

In contrast to the absence of bankruptcies in August, there were some filings in September, but still significantly fewer than during the past three years. Capitol Litho in Phoenix, Arizona filed for Chapter 11. In Canada, B.L. Litho, a commercial printer in Lavel, Quebec, filed under the Canadian equivalent of Chapter 11, and quickly announced that an employee was buying the assets and would resume operations. Cantrell/Cutter Printing in Capitol Heights, Maryland, called it quits and converted from a Chapter 11 to a Chapter 7 liquidation.

2014 September - 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


Allegra Marketing Services No Data Louisville, KY Allegra Louisville No Data Louisville, KY 9/29/14 No Data Merger Printing & copying Link
Smurfit Kappa Group € 8,000 Dublin, Ireland Bates Container No Data N. Richland Hills, TX 9/29/14 $157.5 Acquisition Corrugated products Link
Adams Publishing Group No Data Minneapolis, MN Athens News No Data Athens, OH 9/25/14 No Data Acquisition Community newspapers Link
Think Patented No Data Miamisburg, OH Chisano Marketing Communications No Data Miamisburg, OH 9/25/14 No Data Acquisition Marketing services Link
GLV Mngt Team $651.7 (CN) Montreal, QC GLV Pulp & Paper Division No Data Montreal, QC 9/24/14 $65.0 Mngt. Buyout Paper industry services Link
Guided Products No Data Kent, WA Graphic Impressions No Data Kent, WA 9/24/14 No Data Acquisition Specialty printing & finishing Link
Larsen MacColl No Data Wayne, PA S. Walter Packaging No Data Philadelphia, PA 9/18/14 No Data Acquisition Shopping bags & wraps Link
AlphaGraphics of Raleigh No Data Raleigh, NC Commercial Printing Co. No Data Raleigh, NC 9/18/14 No Data Acquisition Printing & copying Link
Plum Grove No Data Hoffman Estates, IL Tradeshows and Displays No Data Schaumberg, IL 9/17/14 No Data Acquisition Trade show & display printing Link
Association for Packaging and Processing (PMMI) No Data Reston, VA Summit Media Group No Data Chicago, IL 9/16/14 No Data Acquisition Packaging Industry Publisher Link
C-P Flexible Packaging No Data York, PA MRI Flexible Packaging No Data Newtown, PA 9/16/14 No Data Acquisition Flexible packaging & labels Link
Next Century Publishing No Data Las Vegas, NV Printing Icon No Data Toronto, ON 9/15/14 No Data Acquisition Digital book printing Link
Electronics for Imaging (EFI) $757.7 Foster City, CA  DiMS! No Data Lichtenvoorde,
9/15/14 No Data Acquisition MIS systems for printing Link
Atlas Southeast Papers No Data Sanford, FL Roses Southeast Papers No Data Sanford, FL 9/13/14 No Data Acquisition Paper tissue products Link
Glatfelter $1,800 York, PA Spezialpapierfabrik Oberschmitten $33.0 Nidda, Germany 9/12/14 $11.0 Acquisition Specialty papers mfg. Link
Atlantic Corporation No Data Wilmington, NC International Paper
(3 Facilities)
$28,880 Memphis, TN 9/12/14 No Data Acquisition Paperboard converting plants Link
Media-Vision No Data Toronto, ON Magnum Printing No Data Richmond Hill, ON 9/12/14 $1.5 Asset acquisition Commercial printing Link
Marek Group No Data Waukesha, WI  CPI Promotions No Data Pewaukee, IL 9/10/14 No Data Acquisition Promotional products Link
ICV Partners No Data New York, NY OneTouchPoint No Data Chicago, IL 9/10/14 No Data Acquisition Commercial printing Link
Piano Media No Data Vienna, Austria Press+ No Data New York, NY 9/8/14 $45.0 Acquisition Paywall software
(combined $30 Mil revenue)
Fox Chapel Publishing No Data East Petersburg, PA Creative Homeowner
(div. Courier Corporation)
No Data N. Chelmsford, MA 9/3/14 No Data Acquisition Book & magazine publisher Link
Samsung Electronics $214,353 Suwon,
South Korea
PrinterOn No Data Kitchener, ON 9/2/14 No Data Acquisition Cloud-based print distribution Link

2014 September - Bankruptcy Filings in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries

Filing Party

($Mil )

Case #

Filing Party Address


Region & City


Attorney for Debtor

Chapter 11 Filings:
Capitol Litho Printing Corporation 9/9/14 No Data 14-13840 Phoenix, AZ 9th Arizona
Eddward P Ballinger Jr Thomas G. Luikens Commercial printing
B.L. Litho 9/5/14 No Data N/A Lavel, QC N/A N/A N/A N/A Commercial printing
Chapter 7 Filings:
GNP Maine Holdings, LLC 9/22/14 No Data 14-12179 East Millinocket, ME 3rd Delaware
Mary F. Walrath  Mark D. Olivere Paper mill
Cantrell/Cutter Printing, Inc. 9/2/14 No Data 14-23649 Capitol Heights, MD 4th Maryland
Wendelin I. Lipp Richard M. McGill Commercial printing

2014 September - 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


Morris Communications - Printing Plant 2nd Qtr '15 No Data Amarillo, TX Morris Communications Lubbock, TX 9/5/14 Consolidating print operations Link
Cottonwood Printing Aug-14 No Data Albuquerque, NM None N/A 9/2/14 Commercial printing Link
Laurentide Paper Mill Oct-14 No Data Shawinigan, QC Resolute Forest Montréal, QC 9/2/14 Commercial paper grades Link