Sunday, August 7, 2016

How Do You Print a Golf Ball? – July 2016 M&A Activity

Xaar, an inkjet technology company based in Cambridge, UK that manufacturers inkjet printheads for industrial printing acquired EngineeredPrinting Solutions, formerly known as Pad Printing Machinery of Vermont. The acquired company sells inkjet equipment designed for industrial printing (i.e. printing of physical products), but is primarily known for its focus on the highly specialized industrial printing process technically known as tampography or “tampo” printing, more commonly just called “pad printing.” 

At its heart, tampography is a gravure process in which the image is formed by smearing ink across an etched plate with recessed image areas, after which a “doctor blade” scrapes the excess ink off the non-etched areas. A soft silicon “pad” is pressed onto the inked plate and in turn impressed onto the object to be printed. Originally developed to print wristwatch faces, tampography is an incredibly flexible process, used to print on all types of irregularly shaped 3-D objects, including medical devices (syringes, catheters), computer keyboards, wine corks, automotive parts (turn signal handles), toys, and yes – even dimpled golf balls.

As with much of the printing industry, inkjet technology is having a disruptive impact in the industrial printing segment, and pad printing is no exception. Xaar’s acquisition of Engineered Printing Solutions brings to it not only the US company’s existing industrial inkjet business, but also will serve as an entrée for Xaar into the acquired company’s extensive roster of customers that potentially can utilize inkjet printing to decorate many of the objects previously only printable by tampography.

Commercial Printing - Diversified Services

Industry phenom commercial printer 4over continued its growth with the acquisition of
ASAP printing, a trade printer with locations in Utah, North Carolina and Texas. By eschewing the standard commercial printing company’s reliance on building and nurturing an internal super-salesperson culture, 4over has built a national company entirely based on selling through independent print brokers. 4over now has 17 locations in the US and Canada, and touts that its next plan is to grow globally. Is 4over the next “Vistaprint” to emerge in the printing industry by disrupting old ways of doing business?

Southwest Precision Printers acquired the remaining business of Page International, announcing that post-acquisition the company will be one of the largest printers in the southern US, combining the sales of these two Houston-based commercial printing companies. As previously noted in The Target Report, the Page International plant was closed and all the equipment was being sold at auction on June 2nd. The sale of the Page International assets comes only a month after the sale of the one other remaining Nationwide Argosy Solutions company, Franklin Dodd Communications to Southeastern Printing, both companies located in southeast Florida. As noted in The Target Report – June 2015, another Nationwide/Argosy company, Jones Printing, was divested in a management buyout. These latest transactions complete the divestiture of all its operating companies and appears to the be the end of the road for Nationwide Argosy Solutions, once a darling of the 1990’s roll-up craze in the commercial printing industry that included Consolidated Graphics (now part of RR Donnelley), Mail-Well (now the highly leveraged Cenveo), and the defunct Printing Arts America (for more on the death and resurgence of printing industry roll-ups, see The Target Report – September 2014).

Printing Concepts in Stow, Ohio acquired regional competitor Newhouse Printing, merging senior management under the umbrella organization Traxium. Two companies located in the Scranton, Pennsylvania region, PDQ Print Center and Times Printing announced their merger.* The companies are merging management teams and consolidating their operations into PDQ’s facility.


Hearst Corporation has consolidated the Houston, Texas newspaper industry, bringing a multitude of suburban newspapers under the management of its major daily, the Houston Chronicle, with its purchase of the Houston Community Newspapers & Media Group. Gannett acquired the North Jersey Media Group which publishes, among other titles, The Record (né The Bergen Record). The acquisition puts Gannett in direct competition with Advance Publications for the dwindling number of New Jersey newspaper readers. Advance publishes The Star-Ledger which by circulation is the largest newspaper in New Jersey. 

Consolidation and trading titles continued among the smaller newspaper publishers as well. Mainstreet Newspapers in Jefferson, Georgia acquired The Barrow County News and immediately announced the discontinuation of the acquired title. Daily News Publishing in Memphis, Tennessee purchased the Hamilton County Herald from Swartz-Morris Media. Donnelly Distribution in Pennsauken, New Jersey, which specializes in the distribution of retail advertising inserts, acquired Broad Street Media which publishes free 
papers into the Philadelphia market.

Corrugated Products

Kapstone Paper & Packaging announced the acquisition of the maker of corrugated boxes and retail displays, Central Florida Box. Kapstone is the fifth largest producer of containerboard and corrugated products and largest producer of Kraft paper in the US, operating four paper mills and 21 corrugated converting plants.

Packaging Corporation of America acquired TimBar Packaging & Display, located in Hanover, Pennsylvania, in a deal valued at $386 million, approximately 1.2 times trailing revenues of $324 million, a price reported to be a modest 4.3 times EBITDA including the value of tax benefits to the buyers and expected synergies post-transaction. Packaging Corporation of America, which acquired Boise in 2013, is now the fourth largest producer of containerboard and corrugated products in the US, operating eight paper mills and 90 corrugated plants.

* Graphic Arts Advisors, publisher of The Target Report, served as advisors to the principals in this transaction.

2016 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


Mainstreet Newspapers No Data Jefferson, GA The Barrow County News
(Sub. Swartz-Morris Media)
No Data Cumming, GA  7/30/16 No Data Acquisition Community newspaper Link
Daily News Publishing No Data Memphis, TN Hamilton County Herald No Data Chattanooga, TN 7/30/16 No Data Acquisition Regional newspaper Link
Hearst $10,700 New York, NY Houston Community Newspapers & Media Group No Data Woodlands, TX 7/29/16 No Data Acquisition Community newspapers Link
Advocate Printing & Publishing No Data Pictou, NS Dartmouth printing facility
(Div. Transcontinental)
No Data Dartmouth, NS 7/28/16 No Data Acquisition Commercial printing Link
Printing Concepts
(Div. Traxium)
No Data Stow, OH Newhouse Printing No Data Dover, OH 7/22/16 No Data Acquisition Commercial printing Link
Donnelly Distribution No Data Pennsauken, NJ Broad Street Media No Data Cherry Hill, NJ 7/18/16 No Data Acquisition Community newspapers Link
Rohrer No Data Wadsworth, OH CardPak No Data Solon, OH 7/18/16 No Data Acquisition Paperboard packaging Link
Planet Paper Group No Data Concord, ON Tricor No Data Cleveland, OH 7/15/16 No Data Acquisition Retail display Link
4over No Data Glendale, CA ASAP Printing No Data Salt Lakes City, UT 7/14/16 No Data Acquisition Commercial printing Link
Exploring No Data Atlanta, GA GCI Graphics No Data Atlanta, GA 7/11/16 No Data Acquisition Grand format printing Link
Southwest Precision Printers No Data Houston, TX Page International $20.0 Houston, TX 7/11/16 No Data Acquisition Commercial printing Link
Flint Group $2,502 Luxembourg Druckfarben No Data Poole, UK 7/11/16 No Data Acquisition Offset printing inks Link
Relyco No Data Dover, NH Check supply business
(Div. Piracle/AvidXchange)
No Data Charlotte, NC 7/11/16 No Data Acquisition Specialty paper products Link
Lindenmeyr Munroe
(Div. Central National Gottesman)
$5,500 Purchase, NY Graphic Paper No Data Central Islip, NY 7/11/16 No Data Acquisition Paper distribution Link
PDQ Print Center No Data Taylor, PA Times Printing No Data Swoyersville, PA 7/8/16 No Data
(Graphic Arts Advisors)
Commercial printing Link
Gannett $2,850 McLean, VA North Jersey Media Group $90.0 Woodland Park, NJ 7/6/16 No Data Acquisition Regional newspaper Link
Packaging Corp of America $5,680 Lake Forest, IL TimBar Packaging & Display $324.0 Hanover, PA 7/6/16 $386.0 Asset acquisition Corrugated boxes & displays Link
Vice Media No Data Brooklyn, NY Garage Magazine No Data London, UK 7/5/16 No Data Acquisition Fashion & art publication Link
Grimco No Data Fenton, MO  360 Digital Imaging Solutions No Data San Diego, CA 7/5/16 No Data Acquisition Signage supplies distribution Link
(Div. Berkshire Hathaway)
$7,000 Wickliffe, OH Diamond Dispersions No Data Sheffield, UK 7/5/16 No Data Acquisition Dyes & pigments Link
Xaar $122.2 Cambridge, UK Engineered Printing Solutions $14.0 East Dorset, VT 7/1/16 No Data Acquisition Pad printing equipment Link
Kornit Digital $93.3 Rosh-Ha`Ayin, Israel Western US distribution
(Div. SPSI)
No Data Maple Grove, IL 7/1/16 No Data Asset acquisition Garment printing systems Link
Kapstone Paper & Packaging $3,090 Northbrook, IL  Central Florida Box No Data Lake Mary, FL 7/1/16 No Data Acquisition Corrugated boxes & displays Link

2016 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:
Far Western Graphics 7/21/16 No Data 16-52108 Sunnyvale, CA 9th Northern CA
San Jose
Stephen L. Johnson Lars T. Fuller  Commercial printing
American Container 7/15/16 No Data 16-26399 Olive Branch, MS 6th Western TN
Paulette J. Delk Russell W. Savory  Corrugated sheeting & packaging
Star Copy Printing & Promotion Center, Inc. 7/20/16 No Data 16-23325 Naperville, IL 7th Northern IL
Donald R. Cassling David Brown Printing & copying

2016 July - 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


Transcontinental - Printing facility Aug-16 No Data Dartmouth, NS Transcontinental Montreal, QC 7/28/16 Sale of print operations to Advocate Link
Community Papers of Western New York 7/25/16 No Data Angola, NY None N/A 7/25/16 Weekly community newspapers Link
Gannett - Printing facility Sep-16 No Data Melbourne, FL Gannett McLean, VA 7/21/16 Consolidating print with Port St. Lucie, FL Link
AWCL Printing 8/24/16 No Data Dryden, ON None N/A Jul-16 Commercial printing Link