PrintStar Acquires Assets of Sorrento Mesa Printing
San Diego-based full-service printing company Sorrento Mesa Printing has sold its book of business to PrintStar, also based in San Diego. Graphic Arts Advisors, LLC (GAA), Mountain Lakes, N.J., a strategic financial advisory and consulting firm devoted exclusively to all sectors of the graphic communications industry, represented Sorrento Mesa in the sale. GAA Director Mitch Evans served as lead advisor, with GAA Director John Hyde providing support on structuring the M&A transaction.
Since its inception more than three decades ago, Sorrento Mesa has earned a reputation as a wellrespected firm, and its owner, Scott Cappel, is known as a thought leader in the industry. Offering offset printing and finishing services, as well as some digital printing, Sorrento Mesa Printing’s customer base comprised corporations, many in the pharmaceutical, life sciences, and technology arenas. After selling his printing business, Cappel is now focusing on developing a branding and promotion company, Sorrento Mesa Promo. PrintStar’s primary focus is on high-quality digital printing and finishing, while also offering traditional offset printing. The firm serves corporate clients, mainly in the hospitality and banking industries. While business-to-business orders still represent the majority of PrintStar’s sales, the company is also developing a growing business-to-consumer online presence providing printing and copying services.
“This transaction was a true win-win for both parties,” noted GAA’s Evans. “Our client, Scott Cappel, was able to receive good value for his printing assets, while PrintStar gained entry into new markets and an opportunity to provide Sorrento Mesa’s clients with expanded digital services. Scott and PrintStar owner John Crisp had been friendly competitors, viewing each other with mutual respect, and we were able to structure and complete the transaction in less than two months.”
Since PrintStar acquired Sorrento Mesa’s book of business, Cappel has been helping Crisp with the transition, briefing him on client expectations and the high-tech and life sciences industries served by Sorrento Mesa.
“I know our clients will be well served by John, whose company is well positioned to handle this acceleration of his business, both in terms of sales volume and clients,” said Cappel. “When I approached GAA about selling my business, I had a list of prospective buyers and John was at the top of that list. I was delighted that he showed interest as soon as he was approached by GAA, which helped bring the transaction to a successful conclusion quickly and efficiently.”
“In the printing business, you continually need to find ways to grow your business or you become stagnant, and one of the best ways to do that is through the right acquisition,” said Crisp. “Acquiring Sorrento Mesa’s book of business made sense for me since it helped expand my client base and afforded me entry into new markets. At the same time, clients will benefit from the broader breadth of service diversity we offer. Our state-of-the-art digital press can run multiple print stocks and features the latest advancements in color calibration. Because we focus on high-quality digital, we can deliver jobs with shorter turnaround times. Also, we pride ourselves in being a nimble organization that is highly responsive to customers’ evolving needs.”
Crisp is seeking to expand the volume of work from Sorrento Mesa’s clients by going deeper into each corporation’s organization. “In large corporations, different departments have different needs. I’m expanding my reach into multiple areas to position PrintStar as a preferred provider for the entire organization,” he said.
Crisp credits GAA with being instrumental in facilitating the transaction. “Even though they represented Sorrento Mesa in the sale, they were a tremendous help to me as well. Mitch Evans has keen insights into both sides of the transaction and he fully understood my wants, fears, and hopes. He approached us in a way that showed his goal was to structure an agreement that benefitted both parties and he was successful in doing that.
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