Will this “Most Unforgettable Character” Survive? – February 2013 M&A Activity
A “Most Unforgettable Character” in the life of millions of Americans, mine included, the Reader’s Digest, filed to reorganize in Chapter 11 bankruptcy; its second trip to the bankruptcy court in less than four years. The news brought back memories of reading the pint-sized magazine, ostensibly written for the grownups in the house, but eagerly consumed by all who could read. I was encouraged monthly to learn new words since “It Pays to Increase Your Word Power,” and felt better since “Laughter is the Best Medicine." I was entertained with some really "Amazing Anecdotes", and got a glimpse of what it meant to be American from "Humor in Uniform" and "Life in these United States." Like millions of other former readers, I have not read (or have even seen) a copy of the Reader’s Digest in years, however the impact remains. As the delivery of content via print continues to decline and moves ever more to phones, pads, surfaces and tablets, I suspect that this former cultural icon will continue to struggle for survival.
Xerox purchased Impika, the French maker of aqueous inkjet printing technology, signaling the continued development of and investment in robust high speed inkjet technologies, raising the question, “Is inkjet the next disruptive technology to rock the printing industry?”
Office Depot and Office Max agreed to merge, creating an $18 billion company that will compete with Staples. Although printing is not central to either Office Depot/Max or Staples, each has built formidable competitive positions in the copy, short run digital print and low end wide format sectors. Our deal log is littered with Chapter 7 liquidations of small print and copy shops, fighting and losing in the battle to compete with these giants. Not to be outdone, two large franchisors of copy shop businesses, Allegra Holdings and Sign and Graphics Holdings agreed to merge into one holding company, re-aligning their operations along two lines – copy shop printing and wide format signage.