YEAR IN REVIEW - Is M&A Now DOA?
Speaking of prepress, Vancouver, Canada-based Creo, along with Scitex of Herzlia, Israel, made a splash with the announcement that they had combined their digital prepress efforts—creating a $635 million company. Thus, CreoScitex was born.
Quebecor World, the largest consolidation to come out of 1999, endured growing pains as it set out to restructure its giant family. An Illinois plant enjoyed expansion while a St. Paul, MN, facility closed its doors.
Some of the biggest consolidation news to come out of the first quarter actually came from the paper market, which saw a number of large moves with worldwide implications rock the industry during a two-week period. Stora Enso purchased Consolidated Papers for a reported $4.84 billion and UPM-Kymmene shelled out more than $6 billion for Champion International.
In one of the most notable mergers of the year, New York City’s Integrated Graphics (IGI) and Earth Color joined forces to become a leading provider of prepress and printing services in the New York metropolitan area. The combined company generates revenues in excess of $180 million.
In a sign of the times, Sells Printing, of New Berlin, WI, trumpeted the installation of its next generation Heidelberg Sunday Technology press by setting up a “PressCam” for all the cyberworld to see. By logging on to Sells’ Website, viewers could watch the unit in action. Viewer-controlled pan, tilt and zoom features allowed for different vantage points, making it truly a first for the commercial printing industry.
Cunningham Graphics returned to the forefront with the announcement that it had been acquired by Roseland, NJ-based Automatic Data Processing (ADP), a $5 billion computing services firm.
New York City-based Applied Graphics Technologies (AGT), on the heels of widening operating losses due to difficulties with integrating two of the company’s acquisitions, named Derek Ashley its new CEO. Ashley replaced Fred Drasner, who maintained his role as chairman. Change was also in the air for Dayton, OH-based Standard Register, which saw CEO Peter Redding retire and be replaced by Dennis L. Rediker.