POP! Retail Display Proves Attractive – January 2016 M&A Activity
As brick-and-mortar stores fight it out with online retailers, the in-store experience becomes an increasingly important reason why shoppers will still drive to and spend time in a traditional store. Retailers and product manufacturers are counting on unique and attractive printed displays and graphics, as well as creative packaging, to create the difference that keeps shoppers coming. The Midwest printing company with the unusual name, Imagine! Print Solutions, clearly tapped into this differentiating trend and has evolved from its core origin as a generalized commercial printer into a powerhouse printing company focused on point-of-purchase displays, high-end folding cartons, and prime labels. A critical factor in point-of-purchase projects, and the icing on the cake that makes a huge difference for Imagine!’s customers, is the company’s capability to assemble components into kits that are ready to ship nationwide to hundreds or even thousands of retail locations.
When Oak Hill Capital Partners announced the acquisition of Imagine! Print Solutions in January, it was clear that the acquired company was not considered a general commercial printer, but rather a “differentiated provider of in-store marketing solutions, delivering point-of-purchase and point-of-sale marketing campaigns.” Lest owners of generalized commercial printers take heart that private equity has become once again enamored with the printing business, they may want to look more deeply into the acquisition targets that PE firms have actually acquired. We suspect you’ll find that the target company offers some unique service, competency or specialization that serves a desirable market segment. In addition, growth and scale do matter – Imagine! Print Solutions recently reported revenues of $303 million, built both organically and through intelligent acquisitions.
Another company on the move in the point-of-purchase segment is Holland & Crosby, a grand format, retail signage and display specialist printing company in Mississauga, Ontario. H&C announced in January the acquisition of Colormark, and added that the combined companies will be moving into a larger facility. The acquired company has significant expertise in large format multi-color screen printing, as well as digital wide format. Notably, the company provides kitting, fulfillment and distribution services. Common to both companies is a laser-like focus on the printed retail environment.