Compass Report--The State of M&A
In addition, those consolidators that are already on the right track with multiple product platforms aimed at the print needs of national accounts will learn how to market themselves and cross-sell. This, we predict, will begin to happen well before 2005.
E-commerce printing Websites will shake out and consolidate. A smart few e-commerce printers will "learn" what can be sold on the Internet profitably and what cannot. When the e-commerce printer shakeout occurs, some venture capitalists who bet the farm will wonder what they were thinking when they were told traditional print relationship selling was obsolete. Meanwhile, most traditional printing companies will continue to survive and prosper. Just as before, some will survive while others fail.
The printing industry will learn how to tell its story. It will stake out a more respected position in American business and industry. This will begin to happen about the time competition and fragmentation begins to take its toll on the Internet stocks and Wall Street learns again there is no such thing as a fast buck with legs.
Analysts should stop generalizing about the printing industry. Finally, we encourage printing industry analysts to focus on the microeconomics and behaviors of each printing segment, rather than generalizing about an entire industry.
Financial SEC compliance printers are very different from financial printers that serve the Wall Street broker research report market and they, in turn, are different from the financial printers that print promotional material for the mutual funds. Some segments are already consolidated. Others remain highly fragmented. Some segments are more capital-intensive while others are more people-intensive. Some segments are growing in double digits and others are merely on pace with the GDP.
The good news is that if you own a healthy and handsome printing company, there are buyers and your company can be sold this year. The bad news is that you will have to work at it; but, hard work is how you made it healthy and handsome in the first place.