Private Equity Gets Banged Up by Commercial Print Deal – May 2013 M&A Activity
Private equity firms love the paper and package printing industries, but spurn further relationships with commercial printing companies. Atlas Holdings, the fund behind recycled fiber tissue manufacturer Soundview Paper Company (née Marcal) joined Blue Wolf Capital, its co-investor in Finch Paper, to acquire Twin Rivers Paper. Twin Rivers manufactures packaging, label and publishing papers in New Brunswick, Canada, and Maine, USA. In an apparently unrelated coincidence of names and products, Peak Rock Capital acquired Atlas Paper Mills, a manufacturer of tissue from recycled fibers in Miami, Florida. Private equity giant, H.I.G. Capital, acquired Caraustar Industries, a manufacturer of paperboard products and printer of folding cartons. Nekoosa Coated Products, backed by Wingate Partners, moved further away from commercial printing paper with the completion of its acquisition of IGI Corporation which manufactures specialty printing and masking substrates. These deals continue the steady flow of PE-backed deals in the paper industry, with new nuptials every month to date this year.
Sun Capital Partners announced the formation of a global packaging company, combining five of its portfolio companies into one firm to be named Exopack Holdings. The new company will have 63 plants, 8,650 employees and in excess of $2.5 billion in annual revenues, primarily focused on plastics packaging.
Wellspring Capital has apparently been dented by its foray into commercial printing. Its portfolio company, Hess Print Solutions, formed by the PE firm in 2006 with the merger of two Midwest printing companies, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The filed motions include a plan for a prepackaged shotgun wedding through a 363 sale of its assets to Bang Printing of Brainerd, Minnesota.
Arandell Corporation decided to date first, announcing a “partnership” with the San Francisco area digital agency, Synapse Group. Continuing the theme we struck up in our March report, this is another indication that the innovative players in the commercial print space are embracing, purchasing, or partnering with companies that deliver commercial message content digitally to web, tablet and mobile devices. It’s a trend we expect to continue.