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And There Is Still More Consolidation

August 1999
San Francisco—The Quebecor acquisition of World Color Press dwarfs any other merger and acquisition news in the printing industry, but the industry's other players have not been idle in the past weeks.

Perhaps most notable was the news that yet another company has joined an increasingly crowded field of companies seeking to consolidate the still-fragmented North American commercial printing market.

The new kid on the block is San Francisco-based Kelmscott Communications LLC, and its first major deal is the acquisition of three printing companies: Watermark Press in San Francisco; Printing Control in Seattle; and Commercial Printing/CDS in Medford, OR. The three boast aggregate sales of more than $56 million.

Kelmscott's investors include J.P. Morgan Capital Corp., First Union Capital Partners and Duff Ackerman & Goodrich LLC.

"Kelmscott plans to rapidly acquire commercial printers and related businesses," says President and CEO Ron Jensen, who, prior to joining Kelmscott, was CEO of High Impact Printing, a $395 million division of Mail-Well. "Our goal is to build a national network of graphic arts providers."

Execs at Westport, CT-based Printing Arts America (PAA) report that Original Impressions of Miami is the latest company to become a part of PAA's national printing network.

Terry Tevis, president and CEO, notes: "This is our 10th acquisition in just over a year, and our second in the South Florida market. The two companies have already begun work on joint projects and Original Impressions is also moving work into other PAA plants. All of this is possible because once a company becomes a part of Printing Arts America, they immediately become integrated into our network of digitally linked companies."

Houston-based Consolidated Graphics has announced its intent to acquire three firms: Multiple Images Printing of Chicago; T/O Printing of Westlake Village, CA; and Anderson Printing of Hollywood, CA. Upon completion of pending acquisitions, Consolidated will have companies in 26 states and the District of Columbia with annualized revenues in excess of $650 million.

Englewood, CO-based Mail-Well has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Enterprise Press of New York City. The 84-year-old company offers complete digital prepress and a full-service bindery with its high-quality sheetfed and web commercial printing operation, and had 1998 sales of approximately $23 million.

Mail-Well officials say the purchase gives them a strong presence in the city. Chairman and CEO Gerald Mahoney notes: "The Hort family will continue to run the company...and we intend to capitalize on their [outstanding] reputation and convenient Manhattan location to help accelerate the implementation of our cross-selling and national accounts programs in the New York market."

Houston-based Nationwide Graphics has acquired Copyright Printing of Austin, TX.

Carl Norton, Nationwide chairman and CEO, notes that Copyright uses extremely complex bi-directional systems to provide just-in-time printed products for its clients, and that this new capability will bring Nationwide Graphics "to the cutting edge of today's modern manufacturing and marketing management techniques."

Memphis, TN-based Master Graphics has acquired Thomasson Printing of Carollton, GA. The company was founded in 1897 by J.J. Thomasson, the great-grandfather of Tommy Thomasson, who has served as president since 1991. As a Master Graphics division, Thomasson Printing will retain all current management.

Master Graphics CEO John P. Miller says that with this acquisition, "we will further establish ourselves in the Atlanta printing market, one of the top 10 largest in the United States."

With this purchase, Master Graphics grows to 20 divisions in 14 states with annual revenues of approximately $300 million.

Cunningham Graphics has also completed two acquisitions recently. One is Apollo (UK) Ltd., which operates a state-of-the-art facility in the Canary Wharf section of London. Brian Coles, president of Apollo, will join Peter Furlonge as co-managing director of Cunningham's European operations.

The move complements Cunningham's existing London-based divisions, Roda Print and Goldhawk Reprographics, officials say.

Back in the States, Cunningham Graphics completed another acquisition: MVP Graphics, a commercial sheetfed printer located in Santa Fe Springs, CA, which serves the Los Angeles and Orange County markets. This marks Cunningham's seventh acquisition completed this year.

Meanwhile, New York City-based Integrated Graphics (IGI) acquired Ronkonkoma, NY-based Lithographic Communications (LCI), whose clients include American Express, AT&T, Canon USA, IBM, McGraw-Hill and Newsweek. IGI now operates six commercial printing divisions within the New York metropolitan region, fortifying its stronghold in this area.
 

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