EDITOR'S notebookDecember 2003
Even so, assuming that the U.S. economy rebounds next year, I believe the consolidation craze that has been dormant during the prolonged recession will pick up again. But the multiples that buyers will be willing to pay will be lower than they were during the 1990s. Also look for more payouts being a combination of cash and stock. This new playing field will result because there are, and will remain, far more sellers than buyers. Still, look for industry consolidators such as Consolidated Graphics, Mail-Well and others to close more M&A deals in the coming year. When well orchestrated, one plus one can equal three; but it can also spell disaster when differing cultures are not considered, loyal employees are not nurtured and customer relationships get lost in the shuffle.
Let's all toast to a better 2004 for our industry. From the Printing Impressions family, happy holidays and best wishes for good times ahead.
Mark T. Michelson