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Peter Schaefer

M&A Directions

By New Direction Partners

About Peter

Peter Schaefer, partner at New Direction Partners, is an experienced dealmaker with more than 25 years of investment banking and valuation experience, 20 of which has been focused exclusively on the printing and packaging industries. He has closed more than one hundred transactions in virtually every segment of the printing and packaging industries. In addition, he has performed hundreds of valuations for ESOPs, estate and gift tax planning and strategic planning purposes. Contact him at (610) 230-0635, ext. 701.
 
New Direction Partners

New Direction Partners

Paul Reilly

Paul Reilly

James Russell

James Russell

Tom Williams

Tom Williams

Al Reijmer

Al Reijmer

Frank Steenburgh

Frank Steenburgh

M&A Activity: The Temperature of 'Hot'

A favorable economy, record stock prices, low interest rates...at long last, all the right stars have aligned around M&A activity, and there’s no reason to think that the stepped-up pace of dealmaking will slow down anytime soon. We are seeing strong interest among private equity players, as well as strategic buyers. Private equity firms are attracted to growing entities that offer platform opportunities.  Read More >>

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Ready to Sell or Not—Not!

It’s a great time to sell a printing or a packaging business. But, as favorable as market conditions may be, is it your time? There are a number of other things to consider before you hang out the "for sale" sign.  Read More >>

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With Our 'Complements'

In the first part of this discussion about what motivates owners of print and packaging companies in transacting mergers and acquisitions, we noted that every buyer and seller needs to have a clearly defined “why” in mind whether a deal is on the horizon or not. Now, let’s address what drives the thinking of buyers who are actively pursuing acquisitions.  Read More >>

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A Trade Show for M&As? In a Way, Yes

Companies that achieve new capabilities by educating and re-equipping themselves at trade shows shouldn’t keep their progress a secret. Whether your aim is to be attractive as a seller or credible as a buyer, you’ll want your company to be known as one that’s able to deliver whatever its customers want to buy, especially when those products fall outside the definition of traditional print manufacturing.  Read More >>

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Why Buyers and Sellers Must Be Confidential Agents

Keeping things to yourself in an M&A transaction may seem the most natural and commonsense behavior in the world—a rule that literally goes without saying. But, no matter how seriously we take confidentiality, it’s a rule that’s prone to being broken in the stress and distraction of transferring ownership of one company to another. When this happens, the consequences can be messy.  Read More >>

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Growth by Acquisition: It Works Both Ways

For a long time now, the U.S. Army has been recruiting volunteers with the slogan, "Army Strong." When we speak of M&As in the printing and packaging industry, the thinking behind "Army Strong" should remind us that growth by acquisition can be a strategy for sellers, as well as for buyers.  Read More >>

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The Industry’s Own 'Organic Movement'

Never give up hope of organic growth, even if it has been a long time since you last diversified your product and service offerings. To accomplish it, do your homework and find a way to set yourself apart from the competition.  Read More >>

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Your Business: What’s It Worth to You?

You shouldn’t think about “campaigning” in the M&A marketplace unless, and until, you have a firm handle on your company’s valuation. New Direction Partners has performed more valuations in the printing industry than any other consultancy, and that experience has taught us to identify a number of factors that enhance a company’s value.  Read More >>

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Industry Centers:

What’s My Motivation?

What determines your strategy for an acquisition? There are as many situation-specific answers as there are printing companies, but our buying clients at New Direction Partners usually have one or more of the following objectives in mind. Some are more relevant to tuck-ins (where only customer accounts are acquired) than to sales as going concerns, and vice versa. But, they’re all good examples of good reasons to proceed.  Read More >>

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Business Plans: SOP for M&As

It’s possible to muddle along without a written business plan, and unfortunately, that’s what many printing companies do. But, at the M&A stage—a stage that New Direction Partners believes all printing companies will reach eventually—the absence of a business plan makes it all but impossible to move forward with a deal.  Read More >>

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Pride, and Why Dealmakers Shouldn’t Give Into It

There are plenty of good things to say about pride. After all, it’s one of the noble impulses that gets us out of bed in the morning and motivates us to do the best job we can for our customers, employees, and others who depend on us. But when it makes anyone resist the idea that today, every print company owner should be preparing either to acquire or to be acquired, it becomes something else. Steer clear of the trap it can set for your business when your moment of truth arrives.  Read More >>

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Trust and Transparency: the T&T of M&A

In M&As, good faith is everything, and it begins with your everyday outreach to the people who work for you. Keep on finding opportunities to let them know that you value their contributions and that you have their backs today and in the long term. That way, when the time comes to share your plans with the workforce as a whole, the things you’ll want to say most will go without saying.  Read More >>

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An Emotional Walk on the Beach

Selling a printing or a packaging company is complex. Deciding to sell a printing or a packaging company is complicated. The difference? Selling is a straightforward business process with clear-cut steps and rules. Deciding to sell, on the other hand, is a deep dive into the psyche of the seller. For first-time sellers, it can be uncharted territory.  Read More >>

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Behind Every Big Deal, Big Data

Once upon a time, printing and packaging could get by without being data-driven, and so could M&As. This was because in those days, a lot of dealmaking took place locally. If you were a printer in Rochester, NY, for example, you probably knew personally all of the likely candidates in the Rochester area. If you were an M&A consultant, a well-thumbed Rolodex was your most frequently used tool. Personal relationships are still important in M&As, but the geography is bigger.  Read More >>

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Seeing It Your Way—and Theirs—In an M&A

If you've decided to grow your business by acquisition, it follows that you're thinking like a buyer. But, can you think like a seller as well? You'll need to move nimbly from one mindset to another as you strategize the purchase that you want to make. Your own goals will be clear enough, but it will be harder to attain them if you can't also inject yourself into the thought process on the seller's end.  Read More >>

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Let’s Get Real—Really!

In my experience, when differences about selling price and deal structure come up in M&A negotiations, they typically aren’t small. They can be reconciled, but doing that requires flexibility and seriousness on both sides. In M&As, learning through mistakes benefits nobody if the wisdom comes only after the deal has died. It's always better to grasp the opportunity with a clear-eyed understanding of the facts going in.  Read More >>

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Is It Just Me, or Is It Getting Warm Around Here?

Calling the M&A market “hot to trot” would be an exaggeration at this point, but there are good reasons to think that fewer players are suffering from cold feet. Interest in transactions is picking up. Banks are more open to proposals for funding M&As.  Read More >>

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