Transition to Digital Printing Roils the Book Industry
Consolidation was once again the main act in the packaging industry, with an assist by private equity. Chicago PE firm Svoboda Capital Partners was back in the market. Svoboda acquired TVC Label and “bolted” the company onto its platform company, M.E.I. Labels, which it acquired in December 2012. Madison Dearborn Partners, also of Chicago, announced that it agreed to buy Multi Packaging Solutions from Irving Place Capital, preparing Multi Packaging Solutions for a second act in its growth from inception in 2005 to global player in the packaging industry. Back on the deal log for the third time in less than two years, publically traded Multi-Color Corp. acquired Flexo Print, a label printer in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Clarence Schawk, founder of the global image management company, once told me that he “did not want to own iron,” rather he preferred to remain firmly on the image and brand management side of the graphics business. True to this vision, Schawk, now rebranded at the corporate level as SGK, stuck to its script, selling its large-format printing facility in Los Angeles, California. On the buy side of the transaction, and clearly articulating the opposite strategy, dedicated to being a technology-driven company, The Garvey Group purchased Schawk’s Los Angeles large-format facility. Garvey is truly a company that likes the heavy iron, announcing last month that it bought a six-color, 64˝ UV-capable offset press, the eighth KBA press in its troupe of oversize offset presses.
Ricoh purchased a minority interest in Avanti, one of the few remaining independent providers of printing management information systems (MIS). One day later, Hewlett-Packard announced that it was closing Hiflex, the print MIS system it purchased last year. Meanwhile, Electronics for Imaging (EFI) continues to dominate the print MIS business, having acquired and then discontinued numerous competitors. Will Ricoh succeed where HP failed?
Mark Hahn is a managing director and founder of Graphic Arts Advisors, a boutique strategic financial advisory and consulting firm focused exclusively on the printing, packaging, mailing, marketing services, brand management, and related graphic communications industries. With more than 35 years of graphic communications experience in the areas of finance, operations, sales, M&A, and general management, Hahn has served as chief financial officer, chief operating officer and other senior positions with several commercial printing companies, as well as founding and eventually selling his own printing company.
The firm assists company owners and management, as well as their lenders, investors and shareholders in the following areas: mergers and acquisitions, sale of business, strategic and financial advisory, capital structure and funding, financial analysis, interim and turnaround C-level management, business valuations and serving as consulting experts. Hahn is the author of The Target Report and is regularly published and quoted in printing industry trade and management journals.
Mark Hahn can be reached at (973) 588-7399 or email@example.com