Donnelley Plunks Down $481M for Bowne

CHICAGO—Perhaps RR Donnelley decided it didn’t want to be left out of the printing industry’s M&A renaissance period. North America’s largest printer reached deep into its coffers to set into motion the third blockbuster industry transaction since the beginning of this year.

Donnelley has agreed to pay roughly $481 million, or $11.50 a share, to obtain financial printer Bowne & Co. The all-cash deal has been approved by the board of directors for both companies. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2010, subject to the customary conditions, including shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Bowne, based in New York City, ranked 14th on the 2009 Printing Impressions 400 ranking of top printing sales performers with $767 million in revenue for its previous fiscal year. The press release announcing the deal reported the company’s revenues totaled $675 million in 2009. Bowne had nine facilities and 2,800 employees at the time of its PI 400 filing. It offers one-to-one digital printing services for healthcare, transactional, financial services, marketing communications and other applications.

The addition of Bowne, which has operations in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia, will expand and enhance the range of services RR Donnelley offers to its customers, while also creating an opportunity for RR Donnelley to provide its comprehensive line of products to Bowne’s clients.

“Bowne is an exceptional fit with RR Donnelley,” said Tom Quinlan, RR Donnelley’s president and CEO, in a statement. “This combination satisfies all of the strategic imperatives that we evaluate as we consider acquisitions. It will expand our depth with additional talented and customer-focused employees, add new and enhanced customer relationships, extend our product and service offering in areas in which our customers have demonstrated firm demand and create the possibility to take advantage of significant synergies.”

Bowne Chairman and CEO David Shea stated that he believes the combination benefits all of Bowne’s stakeholders, and that RR Donnelley’s broader array of products and services will create expanded opportunities for Bowne’s customers and employees.

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