Rocky Mountain

DENVER—They don't have a name, but the purpose is clear: to become one of the largest providers of commercial offset and digital printing services in the West. In perhaps the single-largest deal—in terms of the number of companies involved—to start the 21st century, a merger has taken place between A.B. Hirschfeld Press, National Printing and Packaging, C&M Press and OSI6. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and a new name has not been chosen. All of the companies are either commercial printing and package printing specialists—C&M Press is a digital printing operation—with the exception of OSI6, a software and fulfillment entity. They have combined annual

It's beginning to look a lot like crisis—for a major portion of our commercial printing industry. The printing trade associations are struggling, merging to survive. Printcafe had an IPO (Initial Public Offering) in mid-2002 at $10 per share that, at this writing, now hovers at slightly more than $1 a share. That group, formed during the dotcom frenzy, is a kind of conglomerate or trade association of four or five printing MIS (Management Information System) suppliers. Those suppliers provide the computer data model for several thousand printing companies. A few weeks back I visited with a major Rocky Mountain area printer. "Rog, in all

CHEYENNE, WY—Vision Graphics, a 47-year-old commercial printer headquartered here, recently made headlines—twice. The first news was that the 65-employee company grew 41 percent in 1998, generating a total of almost $7 million in annual revenues. Vision Graphics also received publicity when it opened a new, 24,000-square-foot facility (expandable to 42,000 square feet), about 50 miles south of its headquarters, at Colorado's Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport. Officials reveal its increased growth meant the company needed another plant to keep up with its booming Rocky Mountain business. "A second plant will solidify the presence of Vision Graphics in Colorado and the surrounding states," says Mark

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