World Color to Acquire Century Graphics
METAIRIE, LA—Greenwich, CT-based World Color Press has begun the new year leaving no doubt that it will remain a force to be reckoned with in the graphic arts industry.
The biggest news is its acquisition of Century Graphics, a $128 million offset printer of retail advertising inserts based here. Century ranked 47th on Printing Impressions' recent Top 500 listing of North American printers, and is reportedly the third-largest offset printer of retail advertising inserts in the United States.
World Color did not disclose the terms of this latest acquisition, which was to have been completed in February.
Under the agreement, World Color acquires Century's four printing facilities—located in Metairie, LA, Winchester, VA, South Windsor, CT, and Omaha, NE.
"Century Graphics is an especially attractive acquisition for World Color," notes Robert Burton, chairman, president and CEO, "as it will immediately propel the company into a leading position in offset retail insert printing."
World Color officials say that, with more than $12.5 million invested during the past three years, Century Graphics has successfully established an integrated, state-of-the-art network of prepress, press and distribution operations. Century Graphics' work force of approximately 500 employees serves numerous regional customers, in addition to national chains such as Home Depot, Rite Aid, Staples and Wal-Mart.
"The acquisition demonstrates World Color's continued identification and incorporation of complementary businesses in growing industry sectors, which, in turn, provide our customers with the most comprehensive network of integrated services," Burton adds.
Burton also notes that Century's extensive offset printing capabilities position World Color favorably to take advantage of a growing trend in retail advertising: the increasing demand for regional offset printing within the retail industry.
Mike Moffitt, president of Century Graphics, says the acquisition was driven by the recognition that his company needs "to be part of a larger printing organization to achieve leadership in the retail circular business. World Color brings to Century and our customers the resources to expand our geography and our services."
The acquisition is World Color's 18th since 1993. The acquisition follows closely on the heels of its purchase of Magna Graphic, an $11 million digital prepress service provider based in Lexington, KY, in early January.
The acquisition of Magna Graphic was the first World Color completed since raising approximately $275 million in a public offering of common stock in October of last year.
Magna Graphic operates a 30,000-square-foot facility, which primarily serves the textbook market. No layoffs are expected among Magna's 110 employees.
In conjunction with this acquisition, World Color has agreed to purchase four new MAN Roland Rotoman web offset presses for the World Color Book Services facilities in Taunton, MA, and Versailles, KY. Installation will begin this quarter.
The acquisition of Magna Graphic and the new presses demonstrate World Color's commitment to expanding its presence in the textbook market. Burton says World Color has "chosen to focus on the education market niche as it presents significant growth opportunities."
He notes several "positive influences affecting the education industry," including a "projected five-year population growth of compulsory and secondary school students" and the "expanding role of the United States as a major exporter of educational materials."