Ray Frick

ST. LOUIS—The Von Hoffmann Corp. has signed a stock purchase agreement to acquire the Lehigh Press for approximately $110 million in cash, subject to certain adjustments. Founded in 1924, the Lehigh Press is a highly specialized component printer with market leadership positions in both book covers and direct marketing materials. Lehigh's operating platform includes Pennsauken, NJ-based Lehigh Lithographers, which provides component printing and digital premedia services, and Broadview, IL-based Lehigh Direct, which provides advanced direct marketing services. Lehigh employs approximately 450 people. In 2002, privately held Lehigh Press reported net sales of nearly $120 million, excluding its Puerto Rico affiliate. The company anticipates that its total

BY ERIK CAGLE Don't be fooled. When it comes to the overall health of the direct mail marketing segment, many of the big hitters within the commercial printing sector are well positioned, entrenched even, for the economic storm that has struck the country. Top 10 -- Direct Mail Printers   Company SegmentSales(millions) TotalSales (millions) 1 Quebecor WorldMontreal $845 $6,500 2 Vertis Inc.Baltimore $397 $1,986 3 Banta Corp.Menasha, WI $231 $1,538 4 R.R. Donnelley & SonsChicago $210 $5,254 5 Wallace Computer ServicesLisle, IL $186 $1,692 6 Moore Corp.Stamford, CT $158 $2,260 7 Japs-Olson Co.St. Louis Park, MN $102 $128 8 The Instant Web Cos.Chanhassen,

Ray Frick's latest formula for rebuilding another printing company heavyweight is getting back to nature—organic growth. Not an easy task in a consolidating industry. BY ERIK CAGLE There is little doubt that Ray Frick enjoys a challenge, and no doubt in regards to his ability to conquer one. The CEO and president of The Lehigh Press, headquartered in Pennsauken, NJ, finds himself in familiar territory. For the third consecutive time in his career, Frick has orchestrated a commercial printer into the position of market leader. After a highly successful career progression with major, blue chip corporations, including DuPont and Donnelley, Frick built Banta

Cherry Hill, NJ—Growth and success have been a consistent part of the Lehigh Press tradition since the company was founded, and are the sources for its confidence in a dynamic and expanding future. They are also bottom-line issues that are changing the direction of an industry leader. Lehigh operates in four industry sectors, including direct marketing, book components for EL-HI publishers, electronic prepress, and pharmaceutical inserts and labels in Puerto Rico (JV). Lehigh is currently ranked 50th among the nation's top 500 printers by Printing Impressions. Under new management since May 1998, the company grew 20 percent in its direct marketing print operations

Consolidators, independents discuss merits of selling the business to a roll-up company. BY ERIK CAGLE To sell or not to sell? A difficult question with no easy, or clear-cut, answers. The last 15 years have been marked by considerable growth in the commercial printing industry. That growth has been bolstered by awe-inspiring advances in technology: computer-to-plate, offset press automation and digital prepress advances, which have all streamlined production processes and decreased turnaround time. By building a better mousetrap, printers large and small have made their industry highly competitive. While the National Association of Printers and Lithographers projects industry growth in the 4 percent range

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