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St. Ives Closes on Avanti/Case-Hoyt Deal

March 2001
NEW YORK—The reports of M&A's demise do appear to be exaggerated.

St. Ives plc of London, a European print leader with American divisions in Cleveland and Hollywood, FL, announced it has acquired the outstanding common stock of Avanti Press and its subsidiary, the Case-Hoyt Corp., for a cash consideration of $42 million.

The deal was expected to be completed February 1. They also are refinancing the company's indebtedness.

Avanti/Case-Hoyt operates from manufacturing locations based in Rochester, NY, and Miami. Known as a printer of high-quality brochures and catalogs, the companies serve the retail, cruise line, commercial and automotive markets, as well as annual reports.

Additionally, Avanti/Case-Hoyt offers design, photographic (both digital and film) and other creative services from its studio facilities in both locales.

According to Gregg Feinstein, a managing director and COO of investment banking firm Berenson Minella & Co., which acted as financial advisor to Avanti/Case-Hoyt, the transaction represents the largest commercial printing company deal in about a year.

"This deal represents a strategic combination of two excellent companies," Feinstein notes. "There are many cross-selling opportunities, as well as a unique fit in terms of the locations of the four facilities."

He feels there will be more large deals on the horizon as the lack of recent activity has, among other things, lowered the expectations of sellers.

"The strategic rationale for consolidation is as strong as ever," Feinstein says. "Companies are just finding it hard to raise the money on terms that they find attractive."

Berenson Minella also recently acted as the advisor to the investor group headed by Theodore Ammon that purchased an approximately 20 percent interest in Moore Corp.

Avanti/Case-Hoyt, St. Ives Cleveland and St. Ives Hollywood will form the U.S. Division of St. Ives plc, reporting to Wayne Angstrom, president and CEO. The division is expected to generate annual sales of about $230 million.

"The merging of these two companies increases our combined ability to better service our customers from multiple technological state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities," Angstrom says.

Joe Arriola, chairman of Avanti/Case-Hoyt, will continue to assist the U.S. Division and Gene Martinez will continue as president of the company. Also retaining posts are Jeanne M. Caruana (CFO, U.S. Division) and Robert Walters (COO, Avanti/Case-Hoyt).

The deal represents the second major U.S. acquisition for St. Ives plc in the last six months. Burrups Packard of Philadelphia, the U.S.-based financial printing unit of St. Ives and Burrups Ltd.—Europe's largest printing group—acquired the key assets of Global Financial Press last September.

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