YEAR IN REVIEW - Is M&A Now DOA?
And while the consolidation hurricane may have been downgraded to a tropical storm, commercial printers weren’t bashful about adding new presses, plant additions and even entire new facilities—it was a year of unabashed spending. It must have been the euphoria over not having to tap into the Y2K disaster relief funds. And yes, on January 1, 2000, the elevators worked, planes remained in the sky and microwaves didn’t take control over other household appliances. Nearly everyone passed the Y2K compliance test.
A look back at 2000 . . .
Workflow Management, of Palm Beach, FL, ushered out 1999 with the acquisition of Hunter-Pacific and Sundance Litho, both located in California. Workflow paid nearly $9 million for the pair in an all-cash transaction. R.R. Donnelley announced its plans to purchase Penton Press and Ennis Business Forms purchased American Forms, Northstar Computer Forms and Adams McClure.
Cunningham Graphics entered 2000 with a head of steam, purchasing five digital printing centers previously owned by The McGraw-Hill Companies. It wasn’t the last time the Jersey City, NJ-based company would make news in 2000.
Publicly held companies began to feel the low-earnings pinch. Wallace Computer Services, of Lisle, IL, announced that Robert J. Cronin, chairman and CEO, had resigned and the company reexamined its business plan following lower-than-expected earnings. Master Graphics’ common stock was delisted from the Nasdaq exchange, “as a result of Master Graphics’ inability to satisfy the maintenance standard,” officials said. Chairman John P. Miller resigned effective February 1.
With stock prices slumping, Consolidated Graphics, of Houston; Laser Master International, of Harrison, NJ; Menasha, WI-based Banta Corp.; Valassis Communications, of Livonia, MI; and Bowne & Co., of New York City, each embarked on stock repurchasing programs.
Cincinnati-based C.J. Krehbiel launched a growth strategy aimed at boosting sales by as much as 40 percent over a three-year period. The company added to its sales staff and increased the capacity of its electronic prepress and plate making departments, as well as installed a four-unit web press.