Mergers & Acquisitions
The Burke Group of Companies has acquired McCallum Printing Group. Both companies are located in Edmonton, Alberta, bringing together two of the leading print and media companies in the region, creating an entity with a range of services.

“As the printing industry progresses, we understand that diversification is the key to long-term growth and prosperity,” said Ian Burke Owner and CEO of Burke Group. “So, when we saw the opportunity to join forces with McCallum Printing – one of our largest and most respected competitors – I jumped in with both feet. The acquisition of McCallum compliments our overall service perfectly.”

Darren Pohl, McCallum Printing’s former President and CEO has committed to stay on in a senior management capacity to oversee sales and sales management.

“I am thrilled to see Edmonton’s top two printing companies come together like this. I’m even more excited to be a part of this new organization,” said Pohl. “The economies of scale and efficiencies that will be created mean a superior customer experience. Our pillars of strength have always been exceptional service, quality and innovation and this merger will not only strengthen those, but also expand the suite of services we can offer our clientele.”

Being from the same primary Canadian city, McCallum and Burke Group’s staff have worked together in the past for other printing operations and share similar culture and community focus.
Two major players in the UV curing systems sector, Air Motion Systems Inc. (AMS) and Baldwin Technology Company Inc., are merging to create a leading global provider of UV and LED curing technologies.

Baldwin, currently a global player in highly reactive UV, LED UV and IR drying systems, acquired Air Motion Systems, which has been a leading provider of LED UV curing technology for the graphic arts industry. Komcan is the dealer for AMS in Canada.

The new entity of Baldwin, part of the $2+ billion Barry-Wehmiller family of companies, will rebrand as AMS SPECTRAL UV and combine AMS with Baldwin’s UV division. AMS SPECTRAL UV currently has operations in River Falls, Wisconsin; Easton, Pennsylvania; and Slough, UK.

“This acquisition marks the beginning of a new era in providing high-performance solutions for the UV industry,” said AMS SPECTRAL UV President Steve Metcalf. “We’re bringing the top industry minds, technology and experience together to tap an unprecedented opportunity in LED and UV, and to serve an ever-widening range of markets and applications.”

The AMS LED UV product portfolio holds one of the largest players for LED curing in sheetfed offset printing and flexo packaging, with an installed base, according to the company, nearly 10 times that of its nearest competitor.

Complementing this technology, Baldwin’s UV division has experience in highly reactive UV curing and numerous LED applications outside of traditional print markets. Additionally, the new curing-technology entity will leverage a massive base of experience serving OEM and industrial markets.

“What AMS SPECTRAL UV will provide customers is a doubling of research and development, engineering, manufacturing capacity and service to meet their growing needs in the market,” said Pat Keogh, one of the commercial leaders of AMS SPECTRAL UV.

According to market intelligence provider Yole Development, the total value of the UV LED market worldwide is projected to grow to US$1 billion-plus in the next five years. AMS SPECTRAL UV explains it plans to capture a large share of the anticipated market by leveraging the scale and resources of Baldwin which, through its global footprint, supplies process-automation equipment and related consumables, parts and services for the print, film, corrugated, textile and paper and packaging industries.

“The establishment of AMS SPECTRAL UV strengthens our ability to provide value to our existing customers while remaining responsive to emerging market opportunities,” said Brent Becker, CEO of Baldwin.
Electronics For Imaging of Fremont, California, acquired privately held CRC Information Systems (CRC), a Reynolds and Reynolds company.

Reynolds and Reynolds is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio. CRC, which is based in Scottsdale, Ariz., is a provider of business management information systems (MIS) for commercial printers and packaging label and forms printers throughout the United States and Canada.

EFI’s business and production workflow software is targeted at the commercial print, publishing, and packaging industries.
Goss International of Durham, New Hampshire, acquired Loudon Machine Inc. in an asset transaction.

“This is our second acquisition in 2017 to help grow our aftermarket business and enhance our product offerings,” says Stan Blakney, Chief Operating Officer of Goss. “This purchase focuses on the post-press segment of the market, and enables us to enhance our bindery products and service - parts capabilities.”

Based in Effingham, Illinois, Loudon Machine is a full-service company focused on the commercial printing industry. It specializes in the worldwide supply of new and refurbished bindery equipment, parts and service, with a product line extending from saddle stitchers, feeders and bases to shuttle hoppers, test stands, and trimmers.
hubergroup has acquired substantially all of the assets of Alden & Ott Printing Inks Company for an undisclosed price. Hubergroup expects to retain virtually all employees and management team of Alden & Ott in order to continue operations in the Midwest and Northeast United States without interruption.

hubergroup is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of printing inks, coatings and pressroom auxiliaries, currently comprising 40 companies and 130 sites. The family-owned company, with more than 250 years of experience in the printing inks industry, manufactures products for the packaging, commercial printing and newsprint markets. In 2016, the Group with its global workforce exceeding 3500, generated sales of approximately $885 million.

“As a key raw material supplier, we already had a great relationship with the talented Alden & Ott team… our combined capabilities in conventional, water-based, low-migration and energy-cured inks will create an enviable offering to the growing packaging market,” said Derek McFarland, President of hubergroup,USA.

Alden & Ott Printing Inks Company was founded by Joe Alden and Henry Ott in 1957. The company expanded its products from heat-set to sheetfed, UV inks, and flexo inks. Today, Alden & Ott develops custom solutions for both the offset and flexo printing markets in the Midwest and Northeast United States.

“The cultural alignment of the family-owned businesses was a key factor and we are happy that the combined team will continue to serve and grow our existing business,” said Tom Alden, President of Alden & Ott.
Transcontinental Inc. of Montreal has sold its publication portfolio in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick to SaltWire Network Inc.

Approximately 650 Transcontinental employees in Atlantic Canada are part of the sale to SaltWire, according to the Financial Post, which also reports the companies said these employees will receive an offer from new ownership.

As a result of the purchase, SaltWire Network Inc. is a newly created media group that previously owned The Chronicle Herald’s seven publications in Nova Scotia. The Canadian Press reports Saltwater’s acquisition of Transcontinental's Atlantic region publishing assets comes amidst a more than yearlong strike involving editorial staff at The Chronicle Herald.

“We are bringing together 950 talented employees to create a media network that will give national and regional brands access to 71 percent of the region’s newspaper readers,” Mark Lever, President and CEO of SaltWire. “We will also reach hundreds of thousands of digital content consumers across several media channels and offer printing services ranging from custom print jobs at Bounty Print [part of SaltWire’s preexisting assets] to mass printing services at our commercial printing plants.”

In total, the transaction includes the sale of 28 brands and Web-related properties, four printing plants operated within Transcontinental’s Media Sector, commercial printing activities in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as distribution activities in Atlantic Canada. Transcontinental remains the owner of the two plants operated within its printing division in this region, which are Transcontinental Halifax, located in Halifax, and Transcontinental Prince Edward Island, located in Borden-Carleton.

The printing assets now owned by SaltWire include facilities in the following locations: Austin Dr. in St. John's, N.L.; Columbus Dr. in St. John's, N.L.; West St. in Corner Brook, N.L.; and George St. in Cape Breton, N.S.

The TC Media newspapers included in this transaction are:

    Advertiser (The), Grand Falls-Windsor, N.L.
    Amherst News, N.S.
    Annapolis Valley Register (The), N.S.
    Aurora (The), Labrador, N.L.
    Beacon (The), Gander, N.L.
    Cape Breton Post, N.S.
    Citizen Record (The), Amherst, N.S.
    Colchester Weekly News, N.S.
    Compass (The), Carbonear, N.L.
    Guardian (The), Charlottetown, P.E.I.
    Gulf News (The), Port aux Basques, N.L.
    Journal-Pioneer (The), Summerside, P.E.I.
    Labradorian (The), Labrador, N.L.
    News (The), New Glasgow, N.S.
    Northern Pen (The), St. Anthony, N.L.
    Nor'wester (The), Springdale, N.L.
    Packet (The), Clarenville, N.L.
    Pilot (The), Lewisporte, N.L.
    Queens County Advance (The), N.S.
    Sackville Tribune Post, N.B.
    Southern Gazette (The), Marystown, N.L.
    Telegram (The), St. John's, N.L.
    Tri-County Extra (The), N.S.
    Tri-County Vanguard (The), N.S.
    Truro Daily News, N.S.
    Valley Journal Advertiser, N.S.
    Western Star (The), Corner Brook, N.L

The www.novanewsnow.com website (digital-only) is also included in the transaction.
Cansel has acquired the Canadian wide format printing supplies division of Midland Paper Packaging & Supplies. First incorporated in Chicago in 1907, Midland Paper had expanded to hold 20 distribution centres throughout the U.S. and Canada, totaling nearly 1.25 million square feet of storage.

With this acquisition, Cansel will transfer inventory and assets from Midland's warehouses in Toronto and Calgary. “Having worked closely with Midland in the past, we're excited to bring their expertise in the graphics marketplace to Cansel,” said Stephen Fletcher, Vice President, Cansel. “The addition of Midland's wide format printing supplies division provides us with the opportunity to present a broader product portfolio and depth of expertise to our clients and we are happy to have them on board.”
Tip Top Bindery Ltd., a wholly owned company of The AdMill Group located in Scarborough, Ontario, has made a share purchase of B.C.W. Bindery Services Ltd. Located in Markham, Ontario, since 1992, B.C.W. Bindery provides perfect binding, mechanical binding, gluing and specialty folding (including mini and map) services.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have our team at Tip Top Bindery welcoming B.C.W. Bindery Services to our organization,” said Arthur Winiarczyk, Vice President of AdMill Group. “This step will help to increase scale and capability of the combined organizations' services.”

B.C.W. Bindery co-owners Blair Wilson and Irv Brown are joining the Tip Top management team. All employees of B.C.W. have been offered positions with Tip Top, which Wilson and Brown describe as a key point when negotiating the sale of their business.

“Our customers, suppliers – and especially our employees – have helped build our reputation in the bindery industry," said Wilson. "Known for our quality, the share purchase of B.C.W. by Tip Top enables us to expand services to our customers to include mailing and die cutting."

Established in 1986, Tip Top Bindery operates out of a 65,000-square-foot production and warehousing facility, providing a range of specialized bindery services including flyer insertion, saddle stitching, folding, polybagging and mailing. There is minimal customer crossover between the two companies.

Aylmer Express Graphics Group, headquartered in Aylmer, Ontario, has purchased Contact Creative Printing, a lithography shop, and Double Q Printing, a digital print shop.

Both London, Ontario, companies and their staff have been absorbed into existing production centres under the Aylmer Express Graphics Group, which includes Aylmer Express in Aylmer, Accell Graphics and Absolute Mail Solutions in London, Ontario, and Barney Printing in Woodstock. The company also operates a mail, data management and distribution centre called Westminster International in Toronto.

“No one else in the territory has our combination of capacity, versatility and expertise," said John Hueston, President of Aylmer Express. "We are now the largest general commercial printers in Southwestern Ontario and more importantly, unsurpassed for quality reproduction.

“We are extremely busy and will continue to grow organically and through acquisition," continued Hueston. "Our full-time staff, almost 100, far exceeds what my father and I set out to do when we accepted Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s challenge to create jobs 35 years ago. We have been very fortunate to have such fine colleagues who share our vision and their craftsmanship.”

The Contact Creative and Double Q acquisitions follow a 12-month capital investment in technology including a Heidelberg CD74 press, Heidelberg saddle stitcher and folder, Polar automated cutting system and large-format printing equipment.

The 137-year-old Express, owned since 1947 by the Hueston family, was also a Family Enterprise of the Year Award finalist at the Family Enterprise Exchange awards banquet on March 2, 2017.

Hemlock Harling Distribution Inc. has acquired PDQ Post Group based in Surrey, BC, with more than 25 years of experience in data, mail and lettershop print solutions. All PDQ operations will shift to Hemlock Harling’s 40,000-square-foot faciliity in Richmond, BC.

PDQ Post’s President, Lorraine Duclos, takes on a new role as Senior Account Manager at Hemlock Harling. “At PDQ, we had great success with customers who focused on direct mail,” she said. “With Hemlock Harling, we can now offer all components of a direct mail campaign, for regional, national and international projects.”

Hemlock Harling was established in December 2016 as an equal partnership of Hemlock Printers, one of Canada’s leading printing companies based in Burnaby, BC, and Harling Direct, a prominent postal services and fulfillment provider with facilities in Montreal and Toronto. Hemlock Harling, officially opening its doors in February 2017, coinciding with its purchase of Kirk Marketing, a 60-year-old full-service print, mailing and fulfillment services company which held the organization’s current facility in Richmond.

“This acquisition is an exciting step for Hemlock Harling, helping put us on a solid path for success in the future,” said President Richard Kouwenhoven. “We are excited to have Lorraine join the organization as a professional and collaborative mailing specialist to our many stakeholders. She will also help welcome her existing customers to an expanded service offering which covers data, print, mail, warehousing and distribution services.”

Hemlock Harling is focused on providing data-driven marketing, postal and third-party distribution services to a clients throughout North America. “Lorraine has many years of experience in mailing and her postal knowledge of not only Canada Post, but also USPS and international postal administrations will serve our current and future clients well,” said Gordon Taschuk, General Manager of Hemlock Harling.
Reuters news service reports today that U.S.-based Danaher Corp. reached an agreement to purchase Israel-based Advanced Vision Technology Ltd, which develops automatic print inspection systems. The deal, according to Reuters, is worth US$100 million through Danaher’s product identification platform.

Danaher is the parent company of Esko (purchased in January 2011 for €350 million) and X-Rite (purchased in April 2012 for US$625 million), which also controls Pantone.

Danaher, based in Washington, is one of North America’s largest manufacturing conglomerates with annual sales of approximately US$17 billion.
ALTANA AG has acquired The Landa Group's Metallography technology, which was first unveiled by Landa at the drupa printing exhibition in June 2016. The technology is designed for producing metallized graphics using an alternative method to traditional foil-transfer processes. Landa claims this technology allows for the metallization graphics at up to half the cost of conventional foil stamping.

Landa will progressively transfer the remaining development and engineering work to ALTANA’s ACTEGA Coatings & Sealants division, who will be bringing the Metallography technology to market in the coming years.   

“We are excited about this acquisition, which opens up new growth opportunities for ALTANA and strengthens our position as a leading solution provider for the printing industry,” said Martin Babilas, CEO, ALTANA. “We are looking forward to our continued close and trustful cooperation with Landa as we prepare to bring this promising technology to market.”

The further development work, as well as sales and distribution, will be steered by ACTEGA Metal Print GmbH based in Lehrte near Hanover, Germany. Jan Franz Allerkamp, who has been with ALTANA since 2010, was named Managing Director of the newly formed ALTANA company.

“We are delighted that ALTANA has embraced our zero-waste Nano-Metallography technology, for there can be no better owner for this business than ALTANA,” said Benny Landa, Chairman of the Landa Group. “As an innovative partner of its customers ALTANA has a wealth of experience and know-how in graphic arts.” Landa continued to explain the sale will allow The Landa Group to focus on its Nanography technology.
DATA Communications Management Corp. entered into separate agreements to acquire Eclipse Colour & Imaging Corp., located in Burlington, Ontario, and Thistle Printing Limited, located in Toronto, Ontario. The acquisitions of Eclipse and Thistle are expected to close on February 22, 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.  

DATA will acquire substantially all of the assets of Eclipse, through an asset purchase, for a net price of approximately $8.8 million. The company will acquire the common shares, through a share purchase, of Thistle for a net price of approximately $6.1 million.

Eclipse specializes in large-format and point-of-purchase printing with approximately 100 employees operating in an 80,000-square-foot facility. Upon completion of this transaction, DATA intends to relocate its current wide format capabilities from its Mississauga, Ontario, facility to Calgary, Alberta.

The Eclipse acquisition significantly expands DATA’s large- and grand-format printing capabilities. Eclipse focuses on providing in-store print, outdoor, transit, display, packaging, kitting and fulfillment services.

Eclipse generated approximately $21.3 million in revenues (unaudited) for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2016. DATA notes that over the past three years, Eclipse has experienced average revenue growth rates of approximately 10 percent per year.

“Ralph Misale, COO, and Grant Malcolm, CFO, the two principals of Eclipse, have built a tremendous business since they acquired Eclipse in 2010 by way of a management buyout,” said Michael Sifton, CEO of DATA.  “We are excited to have Ralph, Grant and the entire Eclipse team join DATA.”

Thistle is a commercial printing company with approximately 65 employees operating in a 42,000-square-foot facility. This purchase will allow DATA to insource commercial printing capabilities which it has historically outsourced to local suppliers. The acquisition also adds expertise in design, prepress and bindery services to DATA's portfolio, and complements DATA’s current capabilities in direct mail, fulfillment and data management.

Thistle generated approximately $16.4 million in revenues (audited) for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2016. “Thistle's capabilities are highly complementary to our own,” said Sifton. “While we have the leading commercial print capabilities in Western Canada located in our Calgary, Alberta centre of excellence, DATA has not had meaningful commercial print capabilities in Eastern Canada, historically relying on third party production partners.

“We believe that the acquisition of Thistle will enable our sales force to capitalize on having a dedicated Eastern production facility, close to the important downtown Toronto market,” continued Sifton, “and we expect to be able to enhance our margins that we would otherwise have had to share with outsourced providers.”

DATA's net purchase price of approximately $8.8 million for the assets of Eclipse will include approximately: $2.9 million payable in cash on closing; $1.3 million through the issuance of 634,263 common shares of DATA; and $4.6 million in the form of a non-interest bearing vendor take back note, which will be payable in two equal installments on each of the first and second anniversaries of closing of the Eclipse transaction. The purchase price will be subject to certain closing adjustments relating to working capital.

DATA's net purchase price of Thistle for approximately $6.1 million will include approximately: $1.1 million payable in cash on closing; $1.5 million through the issuance of 644,445 common shares of DATA; and $3.5 million in the form of a non-interest bearing vendor take back note, to be payable over a 24 month period in equal monthly payments. The purchase price will be subject to certain closing adjustments relating to working capital.
 
In connection with the two acquisitions, DATA will assume a total of approximately $8.0 million in outstanding long term indebtedness, including capital lease obligations, and intends to draw approximately $7.8 million under its revolving credit facility on closing to refinance certain indebtedness of the two companies and for related transaction expenses.

DATA also announced it has arranged an increase in the total available commitment under its senior revolving credit facility with a Canadian chartered bank by $10 million to up to $35 million. The move provides DATA with a total borrowing base of up to $72 million from $50 million.
ICON Digital Productions Inc. has acquired Toronto Trade Printing, a well-known 20,000-square-foot operation running two 40-inch sheetfed offset presses less than four kilometers away from ICON’s 90,000-square-foot facility in Markham, Ontario. The purchase comes less than two months after ICON Digital underwent a rebranding effort in December 2016 to create three distinct divisions operating under the names of ICON Visual, ICON Media and ICON Print.

The ICON Visual division generates more than half of the parent company’s annual revenue, which in its most recent fiscal year amounted to just under $40 million, based on one of Canada’s most powerful large-format imaging infrastructures. ICON Visual, generating around 80 percent of its revenue through roll-fed Durst machines, traces its roots back to the company’s founding in 1995 as a pioneer in the display graphics sector.

ICON Media is responsible for managing national digital-signage networks for Blue Chip clients like Shoppers Drug Mart, as well as high-profile regional clients like Pearson Airport – way-finding screens – and Toronto’s Dundas Square. The division was established in 2009 after ICON purchased Gridcast and today works with clients to deploy signage networks with the ability to procure all of the necessary hardware, develop business plans and manage ever-changing content.

ICON Print is the third pillar of the company’s rebranding strategy, now focused on producing offset work in-house after it has been outsourcing such jobs for its client base. Last year alone, ICON oversaw the printing of more than 20-million direct-mail pieces in addition to a range of offset-produced marketing collateral. The company’s executive team spent the past several months looking at printing operations to purchase in the Greater Toronto Area.

With the acquisition of 25-year-old Toronto Trade, led by the printing expertise of President Kieron Pope and Vice President Steven Niles, ICON projects it will reach approximately $50 million in revenue by the end of its current fiscal year.

“We look at print not so much as old technology. We look at it as just another communications medium. In fact, our numbers tell us there is a lot of growth in print still,” says Juan Lau, President and CEO of ICON Digital, who co-founded the company in 1995 with business partners Peter Evans and Peter Yeung. “The last three or four years we kept looking at our financial statements and, ironically, the fastest growing service sector was commercial printing – and we were not even trying.”

Kieron Pope and Steven Niles are to remain in their leadership roles with the offset-printing operation. “This secures a bright future and legacy for our staff and customers and we couldn't be more excited to be part of a progressive organization like ICON,” said Pope, in a press release about the acquisition.
Multi-Bookbinding has purchased the assets of Quebec City's Spiraplast, a producer of high-quality PVC wire for spiral binding. Founded in 1988 by André Primeau, Spiraplast has a fleet of equipment which includes a Deltaplast D45 extruder line and four spiral forming machines from Renz and Bomco.
 
All of this equipment has now been integrated into Multi-Bookbinding's 57,000-square-foot plant in Shawinigan, Quebec, positioned in the middle of the main printing centres of Montreal, Quebec City, Beauce, Montmagny and Ottawa. Spiraplast’s client base consists of binderies, copy centres, printers, and professional offices throughout Quebec and Ontario.
 
“We’re proud with this addition to our services. There are only two other companies in Canada that produce spirals made from PVC particles,” said Yvon Sauvageau, President of Multi-Bookbinding. “Binderies are always under pressure to deliver in record time. Vertical integration is one solution, plus we create new jobs in our versatile team of 60 employees.”

Sauvageau has led Multi-Bookbinding as President since 2008, shortly after he and a group of associates began a process to acquire the company following the passing of its founder (1988), Suzanne Ferron. The company, with 60 employees, is known for being one of the largest case binderies in the country and also as a large producer of perfect binding, creating more than six million bound units a year.
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