Who Says Books Aren’t Pretty? – February 2015 M&A Activity
Books were ascendant in the printing deal space as RR Donnelley swooped down and snatched Courier Corporation right out of the arms of Courier’s suitor of choice, Quad/Graphics. Almost two and half times larger than Quad, RRD was not about to let this opportunity escape as it did last year when Quad acquired Brown Printing in a sweetheart of a deal. You can imagine the command issued from RRD’s executive suite, “do not let this one get away!” When the dust settled, RRD offered to assume all the debt of the bride-to-be, worth an additional $40 million more than Quad’s offer. Once spurned, Quad reportedly did not fight back.
With sales of $228 million, Courier represents an increase of only 2% in revenues for RRD, but as the traditional segments of the industry consolidate, there are fewer acquisition candidates that can move the needle for the largest players. In addition to traditional book printing, Courier brings other assets to the RRD family, including digital printing capabilities and on-demand solutions that extend the economic lifecycle of published titles. With its Dover and REA publishing brands, Courier owns over 10,000 titles, serving religious, trade and educational markets. The bride is not only pretty, she has intellectual content.
Since the engagement agreement with Quad included a break-up clause, the company did not go away without some reward for its trouble – RRD will be paying Quad the $10 million pre-nuptial fee that Courier owes for walking away from the alter. In any event, Quad recovered its composure quickly and picked up Paris-based Marin’s International, a global player in retail display.
More about Books
Recently rebranded commercial printer, Ironmark (née Frank Gumpert Printing) acquired United Book Press in nearby Woodlawn, Maryland. The acquired company will be maintained as a separate book printing division, adding $13 million in revenue to Ironmark’s $22 million.