Who Says Books Aren’t Pretty? – February 2015 M&A Activity
Harman Press, a North Hollywood, California printer that touts its unionized work force to pitch entertainment and political clients, acquired A&I Photographic and Digital. The acquired company has evolved from a specialized photo processor to printer of fashion and entertainment portfolios and digital books.
Bookseller Family Christian, LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, planning to sell itself in a 363 sale. A new subsidiary of its parent non-profit organization is the lead bidder acting as the stalking horse in the court supervised sales process. The company plans to maintain all 266 stores operating in 36 states with over 4,000 employees.
Commercial Printing & Copying
Staples announced its planned merger with Office Depot which itself recently acquired OfficeMax. The companies offer printing and copying services, both in-store and online. With their printing service offerings, the giant companies compete with thousands of small quick printers, all vying to capture the same walk-in print and copy business. As Staples continues to close stores and drive its customers to purchase office supplies online, its ability to successfully compete for copy business remains unclear.
At the opposite end of the size spectrum from Staples, KM Media Group, a collection of acquired companies competing in the general commercial segment, acquired One Source Solutions. One Source Solutions, formerly a Sir Speedy Printing franchise, will close its Newark, New Jersey location and tuck its business into KM’s Clifton, New Jersey location.
Commercial printer Allied Group in Cranston, Rhode Island acquired DES Printing. Allied has used a steady acquisition strategy, completing seven deals since 2000, to grow its business to $20 million revenue.
In Carlstadt, New Jersey, Pictorial Offset announced that it was closing after 78 years. At one time a formidable competitor in the market for high-end commercial printing, Pictorial has been unable to fully recover since the plant was flooded in 2012’s Superstorm Sandy. In a picture complicated by claims against the printer’s insurance company, the company was further challenged when its lender filed suit in December in an effort to collect an outstanding line of credit.