Creel Printing Plant, Reacquired by Allan Creel From LSC, Will Close Following Asset Sale to Mittera
Comprising its 17th printing industry acquisition, Des Moines, Iowa-based Mittera has acquired select business assets of Creel Printing, currently operating in Las Vegas under the ownership of Allan Creel. The 250,000-sq.-ft. sheetfed and web offset Creel production facility in Las Vegas is not being acquired and will be shut down in the coming months, impacting nearly 300 workers.
It marks an unusual chapter for what had been regarded by many as one of the more progressive, independent, family-owned printing companies.Third-generation printer Allan Creel reacquired the former Creel headquarters plant in Las Vegas last October from LSC Communications, which his family had sold to LSC Communications in July 2017, prior to LSC filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The deal with LSC last October to buy back the Las Vegas facility, however, did not include the Creel Digital Div. (Digital Lizard), which Creel had acquired in 2011, nor New Jersey-based GlobalSoft Digital Solutions, which it purchased in 2015.
The Creel Printing Las Vegas operation produces publications, such as trade-based magazines in the 50,000 to 100,000 run lengths; direct mail for online retailers, health care documents, such as open enrollment kits; and smaller, more targeted and frequent, catalogs; among other commercial work.
Despite the upcoming plant closure, some key customer-facing members of the Creel team will join Mittera to help ensure a seamless experience.
The Las Vegas plant houses five heatset web offset presses and two sheetfed models (a six-color, 40˝ Komori and a 12-unit manroland perfector with coater. Earlier in 2020, LSC had also relocated a 55˝-wide M3000 web press, and additional stitching and inserting lines, from other LSC facilities.
Presumably, much of the work done at the Creel facility will be shifted to Mittera's 16th, and most recent, acquisition — Los Alamitos-Calif.-based Trend Offset Printing — which was finalized in late January. Trend Offset is a primarily web offset and digital printer serving the retail, magazine, catalog, and direct mail advertising segments nationally. Its equipment mix and West Coast geographical headquarters location should mesh well with Creel's client base.
Aside from Los Alamitos, Calif., Trend also operates production facilities in Avon, Ct.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Charlestown, Ind.; Reno, Nev.; Pineville, N.C.; and in Carrollton and Arlington, Texas.
“As our industry continues to change, it is critical that print companies continue to evolve to best serve their customers," Jon Troen, CEO of Mittera, said in a statement announcing the Creel acquisition. "Finding ways to join with former competitors to offer customers more valuable services with a smaller equipment footprint is the future of our industry.
"We are excited to partner with Allan and the Creel team to offer their clients a more diverse set of communication solutions while maintaining the exceptional levels of service that have made Creel one of the leaders in the print space for decades,” he added.
According to Mittera, customers of Creel Printing will gain access to Mittera’s expanded platform of web, digital and sheetfed printing capabilities, as well as digital, creative, and integrated marketing solution services. Mittera’s capabilities span full-color web and sheetfed printing, variable digital production, large-format printing, integrated publishing and digital solutions, web-based storefronts, photography and design studio offerings, marketing and print automation, and more. Mittera currently operates in 13 states located throughout the nation.
“Creel customers are used to an exceptionally high level of service. In looking for a partner, we found that Mittera shared the same dedication to customer satisfaction that we have built at Creel," Creel Printing CEO Allan Creel said in a statement. "While we say goodbye to our Las Vegas presence with a heavy heart, we are excited to know that our clients will now have access to a larger printing platform and more robust set of marketing and communication solution services."
Printing Impressions reached out to Allan Creel for further comment but — as might be expected, with our tight publishing deadline — he was busy meeting with current Creel customers to ensure a smooth transition of their work.
Peter Schaefer, a partner with M&A firm New Direction Partners (which represented the sellers in the transaction), noted, "Allan bought Creel back from LSC recognizing that industry consolidation is necessary to thrive and survive, and he had even been looking at several companies to acquire. But, in the end, Allan realized that Mittera and Trend Offset offered a national platform with additional services, and that partnering together was the ideal way to serve Creel customers going forward."