Is our Forecast for the Printing & Related Industries on Target? – December 2013 M&A Activity
Print Management Firms Evolve. The tremendous growth of the print management business will peak and the players evolve, some into being printers, other move into creative and marketing services.
Some of the biggest names in the business of providing outsourced print purchasing changed dramatically in 2013. Workflow One was acquired in August by Standard Register, one of the country’s largest printers, effectively becoming a printer itself. Pitney Bowes gave up on the print management model, shedding the service to PE giant Apollo Global Management. Innerworkings, the nemesis of many commercial printers as it inserted itself between corporate client and print supplier, appeared to be moving upstream with its acquisition of Eyelevel, a firm that designs and produces in-store displays.
Commercial Printers Acquire Wide Format Shops. Commercial printers will add to their wide format services, moving into the domain once dominated by shops that specialized in offering wide and grand format printing. There were several transactions in 2013 that pointed in this direction, including the acquisition by Pazazz, a printing company in Montreal, Quebec, of Contact Image, also of Montreal.
Local & Regional Newspapers Close Printing Facilities & Outsource Print. There appears to be life remaining in the local and regional newspaper business model, as evidenced by several transactions in 2013 that involved the purchase of newspaper publishers and/or printing facilities. This trend will continue, with consolidation of print production moving to the newest and most efficient plants.
As older presses reached the end of their useful life, several publishers elected to close their own printing facility and outsource the printing to another newspaper publisher with a modern and more efficient facility that is within reasonable distance and is able to meet the demands of daily production and delivery. Recent examples include the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, Texas closing its printing plant and outsourcing printing to The Dallas Morning News. In New Hampshire, the Union Leader shut down its printing plant, moving the printing to Seacoast Media’s plant in Dover, New Hampshire, one hour away.