Phase 3 Marketing and Communications Acquires FLM Group; Seeks Further M&A Expansion
Atlanta-based Phase 3 Marketing and Communications has expanded its sales territory into the greater New York City metropolitan area, added 40˝ commercial sheetfed offset printing capacity and gained a foothold in the promotional products market as the result of its newly announced purchase of The FLM Group in Fairfield, N.J.
“This acquisition fulfills two important aspects of our growth strategy,” said Ken Holsclaw, president and co-founder of Phase 3 Marketing and Communications. “By adding The FLM Group to our already fast-growing printing division, we will be able to increase our offerings and greatly expand our platform into the Northeastern market.”
Founded in 2001, Phase 3 is a marketing and communications services provider with offices in Atlanta; Charleston, S.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas; and Nashville, Tenn. Its end-to-end offerings include branding, marketing, digital, public relations, printing and marketing logistics. Including The FLM Group staff members, its employee head count now comprises 232 workers.
Phase 3 also recently purchased an additional warehouse and distribution center in Atlanta to further drive overall marketing logistics development for its clients. In June of last year, it acquired two five-meter EFI VUTEk 5r LED roll-to-roll printers - one for its Atlanta production facility and the other for its Gigantic Color division in Dallas.
The FLM Group (FLM Graphics) will continue to operate under the FLM Graphics name in Fairfield, and be led by Frank L. Misischia, president and founder. It has grown into a 50,000-sq.-ft. offset and digital printing facility during the past 47 years, with 50+ employees and an additional sales office in New York City. FLM's three primary branded offerings include: FLM sheetfed offset and small-format digital printing; Trucolor wide-format indoor and outdoor graphics; and Paravista promotional products. FLM Reprographics in Princeton, N.J., was not part of the transaction.
According to an equipment list published on FLM's website, its sheetfed offset pressroom houses two six-color Heidelberg Speedmasters with aqueous coating. Digital capabilities include a pair of Xerox iGen4s, an HP Indigo and a Secap SL600 digital envelope printer. The Trucolor wide-format printing equipment lineup includes various HP Latex and aqueous printers and an EFI VUTEk GS3250LX Pro LED UV printer.
“We'll move forward with Phase 3 as a strategic partner to offer FLM Graphics clients a wider variety in marketing services and our employees with more growth and career opportunities, said Misischia. “I look forward to continue to lead the FLM family into the next phase of our company growth.”
Reporting 2017 sales of roughly $14 million for 2017, The FLM Group was ranked No. 252 on the most recent Printing Impressions 400. With 2017 revenues of $27 million, Phase 3 Marketing was ranked No. 185 on the 2017 PI 400. (Click here to access the complete Printing Impressions 400.) Coincidentally, Printing Impressions profiled both Phase 3 and FLM as "Fast Track Companies" tied in with our 2016 Printing Impressions 400 special year-end issue. Phase 3 has also been recognized annually as a top 20 marketing services firm by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, was named among the Inc 5000 fastest growing companies list the past two years and was ranked sixth on the list of "Best Places to Work" by the Charlotte Business Journal.
Phase 3 Marketing and Communications Is an Active Buyer Seeking Other Printing Industry Acquisitions
The acquisition of The FLM Group was brokered between Peter Schaefer - a partner at New Direction Partners, who represented The FLM Group - and Max Nair, Phase 3 co-founder and chief investment officer. According to Holsclaw, Nair continues to take a lead M&A role for Phase 3 as an active buyer investigating and qualifying other potential acquisitions. He reveals that the most suitable targets for national expansion include acquiring a "sizable" printing operation in the Midwest, one out West, as well as marketing agencies.
FLM Graphics and Piscataway, N.J.-based Paravista Inc. merged in March 2015, combining their operations into FLM's Fairfield facility. Printing Impressions also wrote a cover story about FLM Graphics in August 2013.
In addition, FLM Graphics was featured in a Dec. 11, 2016, NFL Sunday Night Football game between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys for rolling out Giants-Cowboys holiday season gift wrapping paper. (You can watch the video clip here.)
Although FLM received the limelight on national television during a professional football game, Phase 3 Marketing and Communications is an active printing industry player deserves watching.