Year in Review — Big Deals Make Comeback
BIG NAMES were on the move in 2007. It was a year in which major mergers and acquisitions jammed the headlines of our news pages. And some deals never quite got off the ground, while others are in a holding pattern.
There was an explosion of headline grabbers to open 2007, led by a pair of major transactions and a political coup for the industry. Having been thwarted in his efforts to acquire Banta Corp. by RR Donnelley on Halloween 2006, Cenveo Chairman and CEO Bob Burton hammered out a deal to acquire Cadmus Communications for $24.75 a share, or a total of $430 million.
But Donnelley wasn’t about to lose some of its thunder. The Chicago-based giant then added Perry Judd’s to its impressive list of additions. And, for the second time in the final few months of 2006 (Banta being the first), North America’s largest printer speared its conquering flag through the great state of Wisconsin. By late January, Donnelley had decided to shutter Banta’s Menasha (WI) headquarters.
Transactions might have dominated the campaign, but a few major issues saw some degree of resolution in 2007. Their ramifications, however, may not be felt completely for several years to come.
The prayers of many in the mailing industry were answered when Congress pulled off a shocker by passing postal reform legislation during the lame duck session of Congress. The move is expected to help stave off the “death spiral” of increasing rates and decreasing volumes. However, a rate case later in the year would create more howls by direct marketers forced to redesign their mailers.
Quebecor World made some tough decisions to improve the viability of its magazine platform, including the closure of its Lincoln, NE, plant. Roughly 550 jobs were lost.
February meant a second chance for many of the 380 or so workers of the defunct Sunny Industries in Mazomanie, WI, when it was acquired at auction by Synergy Graphics of Plymouth, MN. Synergy reopened Sunny, which had closed down shortly before Christmas, and brought back many of its employees.