Tuesday, November 7, 2023

On-Product Printing Promotes & Protects – October 2023 M&A Activity

Most of us do not have to read this label to instantly know that this patch is attached to a pair of the eponymous Levi Strauss original 501 denim blue jeans. The label and the look say it all, these are genuine Levi’s.

Marlon Brando wore a pair of Levi’s 501s in the 1953 movie The Wild One, forever changing blue jeans from farmers’ garb to the ultimate symbol of counterculture cool. James Dean solidified the hip image in 1955 in the film Rebel Without a Cause when his jeans stood out in stark contrast to the letterman sweaters and poodle skirts then popular on high school campuses. Marilyn Monroe made the stitching of the backside pockets famous in a photo for Life Magazine. More recently, Steve Jobs, Bruce Springsteen, Kurt Cobain, and Barack Obama, among many others, all made Levi’s 501s their cool uniform of choice. Regardless of the wearer, we immediately know authentic Levi’s jeans because they sport the printed leather patch (or faux leather nowadays) with the two-horses logo sewn onto the waistband. Printing lets us know that we have the real deal.

OpSec Group, headquartered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, acquired Global Trim. Based in Yorba Linda, California, Global Trim provides a wide range of custom labels, tags, stickers, and patches for branded apparel. The company’s labels adorn many of the brands we admire and purchase. Highly focused and dedicated solely to serve the needs of the apparel manufacturing industry, the company utilizes many production technologies, including woven labels, printed cloth labels, highly decorated printed hangtags, printed heat transfers, molded silicon, and yes, even leather patches that are printed and debossed.

The buyer, OpSec Group, provides a range of services to protect brand identity and related intellectual property rights, including the management of trademark and brand licenses, monitoring compliance with government and brand regulations such as ethical sourcing requirements, product identification and traceability, enforcement of brand ownership, protection of online digital content, and product authentication technologies. Consistent with its corporate mission to protect intellectual property, with its acquisition of Global Trim, the company now provides distinctive product labels, hangtags, packaging, and other forms of identification that uniquely identifies its customers’ brands. Printing and imaging are integral to the recognition that we associate with the value of a product.

Brand Identity Meets On-Demand Mass Customization

Avery Dennison has announced the acquisition of the Silver Crystal Group. The acquired company manufactures custom sports jerseys that will match any jersey style, from any year, with any name and number, and with the exact fonts associated with the selected team. In the ultimate example of on-demand mass customization, the company has over 250 onsite mini-factories at sports arenas and major league stores where fans can order totally unique one-off versions of a personalized jersey at a user-friendly kiosk. The unique garment is produced on-site while customers watch the game. The jerseys are ready to be picked up when the game is over. Orders can also be placed on mobile and online e-commerce ordering platforms. It’s the apparel version of an automated on-demand white-paper workflow. (See The Target Report: On Demand Everything – May 2021).

Avery Dennison will be integrating the Silver Crystal Group into its Embelex division, hailed as a full-service end-to-end platform for on‑product branding, graphics, and trims. Technologies employed include printing of heat transfer graphics, woven labels and patches, embroidery, raised silicone screen printing, molded silicone, and welded screen printed plastic that can be embossed or debossed.

The Silver Crystal acquisition follows Avery Dennison’s acquisition earlier this year of another company that specializes in textile labeling. In January, the company acquired Syracuse, New York-based Thermopatch, which specializes in labeling, embellishments, and heat transfers for sportswear, industrial laundry, workwear, and other fabrics that need to be labeled or branded.

On‑Product Printing Promotes Safety

R-V Industries acquired the business of R.W. Hartnett, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The acquired company manufactures on‑product printing equipment for the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and confectionery industries. Founded in 1879, the company was established on Philadelphia’s “Printers Row,” just two blocks from the historic printing shop operated by Ben Franklin. In the 1800’s, the company maintained an inventory of machine parts and specialized in the repair of printing, bookbinding, and related machines. Shortly after the company’s founding, the company introduced a three-roller ink mill under its own name, competing with the German and English ink mills of the day. With over 60 employees, the company had developed a reputation as excellent mechanics and engineers.

In 1934, the Ford Gum Company, manufacturers of chewing gum and still in business today, asked the Hartnett engineers to design a machine that could print on gumballs. The success of the unique gumball printing machine led soon thereafter to the development of highly specialized printing presses that could print on tablets and capsules, a critical need for the burgeoning pharmaceutical business in and around Philadelphia. In 1949, the company applied for patents on the first tablet and capsule printing machines (it looks like an odd version of the Multilith offset press that I operated as a teenager). From the early 1950’s on, the company continued to develop patented machines capable of printing on little spherical-shaped objects, including not only pharmaceutical products, but jellybeans as well.

The acquisition of R.W. Hartnett is R.V. Industries’ second move into the on‑product printing segment this year. In June, the company acquired the Ackley Machine Corporation in Moorestown, New Jersey. The acquired company designs and manufactures machines that utilize rotogravure offset printing, with options to print in multiple colors and on both sides. Similar to its impact in other printing segments, inkjet technology has made inroads into the business of printing on objects that require non-contact marking. Lasers are employed in other machines for marking difficult-to-print object such as softgel tablets.

The slow, but steady, secular decline of paper-based commercial printing continues to erode the traditional segments of the printing industry that produce brochures, magazines, catalogs, and newspapers. At the same time, developments in on‑product printing technology have increased the options for what can be printed and labeled, strengthening brand identities and improving product safety. (See The Target Report: How Do You Print a Golf Ball? – July 2016). Combined with on-demand customer interfaces that enable mass customization, new methods of on‑product printing continue to open up new opportunities in print.
2023 October - Mergers and Acquisitions in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries

Deal Party #1
(Surviving Entity)

Party #1 Address

Deal Party #2

Party #2 Address

Deal Structure

Minuteman Press, White Plains
(New franchisee)
No Data White Plains, NY Alloy Printing No Data White Plains, NY 10/30/23 No Data Acquisition Printing & copying Link
Paxton Media Group No Data Paducah, KY The Southern Illinoisan
(Prop. Lee Enterprises)
No Data Carbondale, IL 10/28/23 No Data Acquisition
(Dirks, Van Essen)
Community newspaper Link
Kirkwood $64.0 Wilmington, MA DGI Invisuals
Div. DGI Communications
No Data N. Billerica 10/27/23 No Data Acquisition Wide format printing Link
1Vision $45.0 Jackson, MS Preferred Marketing Solutions
(Sub. Papa John's International)
No Data Louisville, KY 10/26/23 No Data Acquisition Marketing execution services Link
Ian Bernstein No Data Towaco, NJ Allstate Paper Box No Data Newark, NJ 10/24/23 No Data Acquisition Rigid boxes Link
OpSec Group $218.0 Lancaster, PA Global Trim No Data Yorba Linda, CA 10/19/23 No Data Acquisition Labels for apparel Link
Ennis $430.1 Midlothian, TX  Diamond Graphics No Data Bensalem, PA 10/13/23 No Data Acquisition Direct mail printing Link
Ennis $430.1 Midlothian, TX  Eagle Graphics No Data Annville, PA 10/13/23 No Data Acquisition Commercial printing Link
Avery Dennison $8,280 Glendale, CA Silver Crystal Group No Data Toronto, ON 10/11/23 $30.0 Acquisition Apparel customization Link
Labelink No Data Anjou, QC Sheraton Labels No Data Calgary, AB 10/6/23 No Data Acquisition Label printing Link
Parmarco No Data Roselle, NJ TLS Anilox No Data Salzkotten,
10/6/23 No Data Acquisition
(Mazzone & Assoc.)
Flexo anilox roll services Link
(Port co Leonard Green & Partners)
No Data Covington, KY Lofton Label & Packaging No Data Inver Grove Heights,
10/4/23 No Data Acquisition Label and flexible packaging Link
R-V Industries No Data Honey Brook, PA R.W. Hartnett No Data Philadelphia, PA 10/3/23 No Data Acquisition Industrial printing equipment Link
Interstate Graphics No Data Machesney Park, IL Corpro Signs No Data Loves Park, IL 10/2/23 No Data Acquisition Retail signage  Link
Grimco No Data Fenton, MO TubeliteDenco No Data Apopka, FL 10/2/23 No Data Acquisition Graphic supplies distributor Link

2023 October - Bankruptcy Filings in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries

Filing Party


Case #

Filing Party Address


Region & City


Attorney for Debtor

Chapter 11 Filings:
Xpress Media Printing LLC 10/10/23 No Data 23-18258 Miami, FL 11th Southern FL
Laurel M. Isicoff K. Drake Ozment Printing & copying
Chapter 7 Filings:
Trade Finishing and Graphic Services LLC 10/20/23 No Data 23-10881 Austin, TX 5th Western TX
Shad Robinson Christy L. Heimer Trade bindery
Scribe Media LLC 10/16/23 No Data 23-10868 Austin, TX 5th Western TX
Shad Robinson Lynn Hamilton Butler Self-publishing services
G&C Direct Mail Marketing, Inc. 10/13/23 No Data 23-32349 Dallas, TX 5th Northern  TX
Stacey G. Jernigan Victor D. Vital Direct mail printing

2023 October - Non-Bankruptcy Closures in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries

Closed Company / Facility

Date of Closure

Closing Address
Related Party Related Party
Date Closure Public


Quad/Graphics - Printing facility Dec-23 No Data Effingham, IL Quad Graphics Sussex, WI  10/25/23 Direct mail printing
(Formerly Worldcolor facility)
International Paper - Mill Q4-23 No Data Orange, TX International Paper Memphis, TN 10/18/23 Containerboard mill Link
EB Display Company 11/14/23 No Data Massillon, OH None N/A 10/15/23 Retail display & fixtures Link
Sappi - Paper mill Q1-24 No Data Stockstadt,
Sappi Johannesburg,
South Africa
10/10/23 Graphic paper and pulp mill Link
South Hill Enterprise Oct-23 No Data South Hill, VA Womack Publishing Chatham, VA 10/4/23 Community newspaper Link
Shields - flexible packaging plant Dec-23 No Data Coldwater, OH Novolex Hartsville, SC 10/2/23 Flexible packaging and films Link