Banta Acquires Southeastern Color Graphics

Johnson City, Tn—Menasha, WI-based Banta Corp. has purchased Southeastern Color Graphics, based here. Officials say the acquisition enhances Banta’s ability to meet the specialized product needs of the educational marketplace because Southeastern focuses on product niches that address the non-textbook print component requirements of elementary and high school markets.

Products include large-format “lap books” and customized “little books” for elementary reading programs, overhead transparencies, card and poster sets, and classroom resource kits.

Southeastern’s 1999 sales were more than $20 million, making it the third largest supplier in its market niche. The Banta Book Group is the largest supplier to this market through its five packaging and fulfillment facilities, which specialize in project management and production of classroom resource kits. In addition, Banta is among the leading suppliers to the overall educational printing market.

“The acquisition of Southeastern reflects our strategy to expand in our strongest and most attractive market sectors,” says Banta Chairman Donald D. Belcher. “One of our targeted areas for future investment is our educational book business and Southeastern creates an ideal alliance with complementary products, many common customers and an excellent reputation as a quality supplier to educational publishers. This acquisition strengthens our leadership as a single-source supplier to the educational market.”

While Banta focuses on longer-run print products using high-production web presses, Southeastern is a sheetfed printer specializing in shorter runs of non-standard-sized products.

Southeastern will become part of the Banta Book Group, which has a book manufacturing operation in Harrisonburg, VA.

According to Book Group President Ronald J. Musil, the Harrisonburg plant gives Southeastern an internal capability for high-volume, one-color book products, an area in which they did not compete in the past, while Southeastern gives Banta internal print production capabilities for many of the specialized products contained in classroom resource kits, such as sheetfed print products, transparencies and card sets.

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