(Editor’s Note: The following was prepared by Compass Capital Partners, the printing industry’s most active investment banker. Located in Radnor, PA, and headed by Chairman Harris M. DeWese, it represents only sellers and buyers of printing companies. Since 1996, Compass Capital has completed 47 transactions involving printing revenues exceeding $1.5 billion.)

The U.S. printing industry is a bedrock of our economy. Yet, in this day of electronic communication, some are telling us that print-on-paper communication is about to be replaced by alternative media.

Compass Capital Partners has been following the printing industry for 12 years. We have made our living from representing buyers and sellers of printing companies. Today, we are the most active printing industry investment banker in the United States. Since 1996, we have completed 47 transactions involving aggregate printing revenues exceeding $1.5 billion. What we read about this industry is at odds with what we see. This report is our attempt to set the record straight.

Printing Segment Status Largest Competitors in
Consolidated Segments
Publications Consolidated R.R. Donnelley, Quad/Graphics, Quebecor
Advertising Fragmented  
Catalogs Consolidated R.R. Donnelley, Quad/Graphics, Quebecor
Direct Mail Fragmented  
Free-standing Inserts Consolidated Valassis, Vertis, ACG Holdings
Books Moderate
R.R. Donnelley, Quebecor
Directories & Schedules Fragmented  
Financial & Legal Consolidated R.R. Donnelley, Merrill, Bowne
General Commercial Fragmented  
Business Forms Moderate
Moore, Wallace, Standard Register
Labels & Tags Fragmented  
Greeting Cards Consolidated Hallmark, American Greetings, Gibson
Specialty & Converted Fragmented  
Containers & Boxes Fragmented  
Flexible Packaging Fragmented  
Prepress Services Fragmented  
Finishing Services Fragmented  

Commercial printing is not dead. It is growing, profitable and poised to become even more so.

Who are the commercial printers? Commercial printing companies produce a wide variety of marketing-related products and information-based documents. Marketing-related product examples are catalogs, brochures, flyers, newsletters, presentation folders, pocket folders and product inserts. Information-related printed products include directories, internal newsletters, training materials, user manuals, financial disclosure materials and procedure manuals.

The commercial printing segment is comprised of approximately 38,000 companies, of which only one is a pure-play public company—Consolidated Graphics—with sales totally derived from the commercial printing market. There are another 16 public companies that obtain at least 5 percent and as much as about 40 percent of their revenues from the commercial printing market.

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