Mergers & Acquisitions

Drytac, an international manufacturer of adhesive-coated products, has acquired Toronto-based adhesive coating company Multi-Tac Inc. Multi-Tac has been serving the industry, both domestic and abroad, for nearly 25 years through the manufacture of pressure-sensitive products and custom coatings.

“The combined operation will result in improved efficiencies, greater flexibility and shorter development time from customer concept to finished product,” stated Marc Oosterhuis, President of the Drytac Group. “With an increased coating, slitting and sheeting capacity, we can not only expand our standard product range but grow our specialty custom coating services in North America.”

According to Drytac, the acquisition allows the company to offer aqueous, solvent and hot-melt coatings. It will also be able to offer adhesive and top coat up to 61 inches wide. Existing Multi-Tac customers in Europe and the Middle East will be handled through Drytac Europe, based in Bristol, UK.

In related news, the company also announced the sale of its UV liquid coating division to North Carolina-based Advanced Finishing Technologies, a member of the Digital2You network. Current manager of Drytac’s UV liquid coating line will join Advanced Finishing Technologies as a result.

[UPDATED June 28, 2013, 2:00PM EST] K-North Inc. has ended its distribution agreement with Komori America. Steve Ranson, who served as VP at the company, is forming a new entity called K-North Services Inc., which is to begin operations in Georgetown, Ontario on August 1, 2013.

K-North Inc. of Mississauga, owned by President Liana Howard, became Komori America’s sheetfed press distributor for Ontario and Western Canada in 2003 and proceeded to reestablish the Komori press brand across the country. Ranson was heavily involved in this effort through his previous role as Vice President of K-North Inc. He now takes on the title of President of K-North Services Inc.

"We look forward to continuing the great success of Komori in Canada," says Ranson.

Over the past decade, K-North Inc. placed new-generation Komori technologies like the Lithrone S40, SX29, and GL40 into dozens of Canadian pressrooms. The organization also ran one of Canada’s largest press service departments through its Komori-Kare program (established 2010) and REMOTE-ACCESS (established 2012).

“We at K-North Inc. felt it was the right time to cease selling new machinery,” reads a statement issued this morning by K-North Inc. “During the last few months, we together with Komori America discussed the right way to provide peace of mind to our customers, and we are both happy to report that effective August 1, 2013, a new business, K-North Services Inc. will continue the work and take over all Komori obligations. Furthermore, the right management and ownership has been put in place headed by Mr. Steve Ranson.”

When K-North Services begins operations on August 1, 2013, the new business will also distribute consumable products like the K-Press blanket cloths and Finito blankets, as well as KUDA guillotines and peripheral equipment.

Somerset Graphics has installed a new 6-colour, 29-inch Komori LSX 629 press with UV capabilities into its Mississauga facility.

The Komori LSX 629 press, sold through K-North, can do both inline UV printing and conventional printing with water-based coatings. The new 29-inch press also includes fully automatic plate changers and wash-up systems, as well as closed-loop colour controls.

“We will have more to offer our customers at very competitive prices,” stated Jack Youngberg of Somerset Graphics, in a press release. Youngberg also noted the benefits of adding another interdeck press system on the company’s pressroom floor.

Founded 33 years ago, Somerset Graphics is a privately owned commercial printing operation and well known in the Greater Toronto Area for its focus on high-quality production.

Printing technology giant EFI has acquired Belgium-based GamSys Software, a provider of Management Information Systems for French-speaking markets. Specific terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

"We are very pleased to have GamSys join the EFI family and our continually expanding portfolio of industry-leading business automation technologies. We look forward to continuing the high-level of support for their over 400 customers in France, Belgium, Switzerland and throughout the rest of the world have come to expect as they join our large global client base," said Marc Olin, SVP/GM of EFI Productivity Software (EPS) business unit.

GamSys was founded by Patrick Vreven in 1992 has grown a customer base of over 400 customers. Vreven himself has been active in CIP4 since 2004. The company will become a part of EFI’s Productivity Software organization.

"GamSys is excited to join the world-class team of EFI employees and be a part of EFI's strategic focus and investment in Europe," said Vreven, who is now Director of EFI GamSys. "As our market continues to evolve, our customers will now have access to an extensive portfolio of industry-leading technology, with more options to grow their business, while continuing to receive the same high-level of support and attention they are accustomed to."

Southwest Binding Systems has purchased the B.C. division of International Binding & Laminating Systems. Mississauga-based Sprial of Canada will take on the International’s Ontario division.

“It’s going to be a great marriage, with two well-known brands in the B.C. market, International being around for 30-40 years, and Southwest being there for 25 years,” Louis Cordeiro, President of Southwest Bindings told PrintAction. “Merging the two of them in the B.C. market is going to give us a great advantage.”

Cordeiro said Southwest’s current operation in Burnaby will move into International Binding and Laminating’s Vancouver location, which is roughly twice the size, by the end of June. The company will operate under the name of Southwest/International Bindings.

“[For our customers] it will mean increased inventory and increase purchasing power,” Cordeiro adds. “They will have an increased selection of products they can pass along to their customers also. It will be a win-win situation for everyone.”

Southwest Bindings was founded in Toronto in 1978 by Hank Mercer. Cordeiro purchased the company in 1987 and has since expanded its reach across Canada, numbering eight locations from coast to coast.

The C.J. Group of Companies, which owns C.J. Graphics of Toronto, has purchased the publishing entity Design Edge Canada, including its printed magazine and associated Website and the Regional Design Awards.

"We are very excited about taking on this publication and its affiliated properties,” stated Jay Mandarino, Founder and CEO of C.J. Graphics “It’s important to us that this publication flourishes and continues its mandate to inform and inspire graphic designers, art directors and all other professionals associated with design in its many forms across Canada.”

Design Edge Canada was founded in 2006 by North Island Publishing Ltd., which produces Graphic Monthly magazine.

EFI adds to its portfolio of Management Information Systems (MIS) software with the acquisition of printLEADER, a privately held MIS developer based in Palm City, Florida. 

printLEADER technology is installed at over 800 printing operations. The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but EFI states the purchase is not expected to be material to its second-quarter or full-year 2013 results.
“We are very pleased to have printLEADER join the EFI family and our expanding portfolio of business automation technologies,” stated Marc Olin, Senior VP and GM of EFI Productivity Software (EPS). “We also welcome printLEADER’s customers to our global client base.”

printLEADER’s MIS products are to be integrated into EFI’s PrintSmith Vision product line. EFI states that it will also continue to support the existing printLEADER client base, which consists of more than 800 commercial and in-plant printing operations across North America. In addition to PrintSmith Vision, EFI’s MIS portfolio includes EFI Pace, EFI Monarch and EFI Radius, which will not be altered after the purchase.

“Our customers need to remain extremely competitive in today’s 24/7 world,” stated John Fleming, Founder and President of printLEADER. “After 25 years, the timing is right to join EFI.”

Rhino Print Solutions Inc., headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, acquired Marcam Cross Media Ltd. of Toronto, Ontario. The purchase gives Rhino, led by President and CEO David Allan, its first location in the Eastern Canadian market to better serve its national clients.

“Now, with operations in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, we are uniquely positioned to provide high quality colour-managed print on demand solutions to Canadian businesses nation-wide,” stated David Allan. “We are fortunate to be inheriting such a high-caliber operation in Marcam.”

Founded in 1971, Marcam has evolved from its offset roots into a range of toner-based production, while focusing heavily on providing multi-channel print marketing and related analysis. This technological direction of Marcam fits with Rhino, which plans to build its new operation by emphasizing print on demand and multi-channel marketing .

“We are excited to be joining the award–winning Rhino team,” stated Matthew Marczak, President of Marcam. “We know for certain that our clients will admire Rhino’s relentless pursuit of quality and appreciate the new, broader national scope that is now achievable with an East to West print network.”

Rhino is one of Canada’s most-awarded printing operations, including its multiple-year achievements in the Canadian Printing Awards. Rhino received the Best of Show Award at the most recent Canadian Printing Awards event in 2012. The company has also received numerous awards in the Gallery of Superb Printing competition and the Premier Printing Awards, including multiple Benny Awards.

“This expansion and investment in our business reflects Rhino’s confidence in what we know to be a strong, healthy and continuous demand for higher quality, well-produced print marketing materials,” stated Allan.  “Today’s online, electronic marketplace requires print support that has a strong and appropriate stand-out effect.”

Eastman Kodak has announced it has settled with its largest creditor, the U.K. Kodak Pension Plan (KPP), in which the company will spin off its Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses to KPP for $650 million. The deal will also resolve $2.8 billion of claims by the KPP against Kodak.

“In one comprehensive transaction, Kodak will realize its previously announced intention to divest its Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses and settle its largest legacy liability,” said Antonio M. Perez, Kodak Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The KPP transaction moves us past several key hurdles in our reorganization, resolving all potential claims worldwide, assuring continued operations outside of the United States, placing our Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses with a new owner that recognizes their value and is focused on their growth and success, and providing the remaining liquidity we require to emerge from Chapter 11. We are very pleased with the transaction, the value it creates for our stakeholders, and the dedication and creativity of KPP that made it possible to achieve this extraordinary result.”  

The company has also posted its financial result for the first quarter of 2013: a profit of $283 million. This number is compared to a $366 million loss in the same quarter last year. This positive result is mainly due to the sale of its digital imaging patent portfolio worth $535 million. 

The company’s Commercial Imaging segments saw improvement, reporting a loss of $8 million compared to a loss of $89 million a year prior. The company's overall sales, however, fell nine percent compared to the same quarter in 2012, totalling $849 million compared to $928 million.
“These results demonstrate that we are on track with our strategy to focus on Commercial Imaging, and that we are making operational improvements as Kodak takes the right steps to emerge as a profitable and sustainable company,” said Perez. “We have the right strategy and the right technology and products to extend our leadership in the industry.” 

In a letter to its customers today, Unisource revealed that it has been in talks with International Paper, the parent company of xpedx, to investigate the merging of its distribution businesses.

According to the letter, Unisource initiated the dialog and the two parties have subsequently signed a non-binding letter of intent about a potential transaction. The letter states that the deal would allow wider global reach in distribution and a stronger supply chain resulting in better service.

xpedx is a $6 billion business-to-business distributor with 85 distribution centres in the U.S. and Mexico. In 2007 the company expanded into Canada, leading with a 150,000 square foot facility in the Greater Toronto Area. In November 2011, the company pulled out of Canada completely, citing the decline of the print marketplace.

Unisource is a Georgia-based distributor with a workforce of roughly 4,000 people around the world. The company was formed in 1996 when it was split off from Alco Standard Corporation; it was then purchased by Georgia Pacific in 1999 and a majority stake was sold to Bain Capital. According to Forbes magazine in 2011, the company is the 82nd largest private company in the world.

The letter from Unisource stressed that if no agreement is reached between the two companies, Unisource will continue to operate as a private company.

Eastman Kodak announced today that it has reached an agreement with Brother Industries with regard to the sale of specific assets of its Document Imaging business.

The proposed cash purchase would come in at around US$210 million, subject to certain price adjustments at closing. Under the agreement, Brother would also assume deferred service revenue liability of the business, which totaled approximately US$67 million as of December 31, 2012.

Consummation of the transaction with Brother is subject to court approval and a marketing period in which Kodak may seek to obtain a higher or better offer for the business, alone or in combination with other businesses, including through a court-approved auction. Under the terms of the agreement, Kodak will seek U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval of the bidding procedures at a hearing in late April and is targeting final court approval of a transaction in June.

Kodak’s Document Imaging portfolio includes scanners, capture software and related services primarily for enterprise customers. Brother is a multinational electronics and electrical equipment company headquartered in Nagoya, Japan. Its products include printers, multifunction printers, sewing machines, large machine tools, label printers, typewriters, fax machines, and computer-related electronics.

“This proposed sale is another key step in Kodak’s path to emergence,” stated Antonio Perez, Chairman and CEO of Kodak. “It moves us closer to realizing our strategic vision for Kodak’s future.”

Shortly after entering its bankruptcy protection process in January 2012, Kodak announced plans to restructure around its Commercial Imaging business. The Rochester-based company is continuing a sales process for its Personalized Imaging business.

Domtar Corporation signed an agreement to acquire Xerox' paper and print media products distribution business in the United States and Canada. Xerox does not actually manufacture paper, but has attached the Xerox name through private-label agreements on a range of coated and uncoated papers and specialty print media for distribution.

Xerox has branded papers for the business forms, carbonless and wide-format applications. This business will now become part of Domtar's pulp and paper segment, and Domtar will market and distribute Xerox-branded paper and print media.

“This deal brings together Xerox's branded papers with Domtar's already comprehensive paper offering and will allow us to better serve our customers,” stated John Williams, Domtar's President and Chief Executive Officer. 

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013, subject to customary closing conditions. Xerox plans to continue manufacturing other consumables, such as toner and ink, and Xerox Replacement Cartridges.

"As Xerox broadens its business to focus more on services and innovative document technology, we saw an opportunity for our paper business clients to be better served by a leader in the industry," said Frank Edmonds, Senior VP, Xerox Global Paper and Supplies Distribution Group.

KBA is planning to taken over the control of Flexotecnica based in Tavazzano, Italy, which is just outside of Milan. The move signals KBA’s entry into the flexible packaging sector, with an emphasis on films.

This is the second significant investment into a new market in less than a year for the German press maker, which made headlines in May 2012 during the drupa 2012 exhibition by introducing an industrial inkjet web press, called RotaJET, as well as the Varius 80 for shorter runs.

KBA explains the planned takeover of Flexotecnica is an opportunity to expand its existing strong position in the folding-carton market into a further growing packaging segment. For well over a decade, KBA, through its Rapida line of presses, has controlled a 50 percent global market share in large-format offset, which is the primary technology used for long-run folding carton work. In 2012 alone, KBA held more than a 65 percent market share in North America’s large-format sheetfed sector.

Flexotecnica is a subsidiary of Officine Meccaniche G. Cerutti (OMGC), an Italian company that specializes in gravure for the packaging and publication sectors with headquarters in Casale Monferrato, near Turin. Around 100 Flexotecnica employees build and merchandizes central-cylinder flexo presses for printing on various flexible packaging materials. The company has primarily focused its business activities in Europe.

The price for the majority stake in the Italian company, according to KBA, will be in the high single-digit million euros, following adjustments on the basis of agreed items made on the settlement date. The acquisition has been approved by the KBA supervisory board, but the final takeover by KBA is still subject to conditions that have to be met in the next few months, including a review by antitrust authorities.

Xerox has acquired Impika, the France-based manufacturer of industrial inkjet presses. The company’s offerings will join Xerox’s CiPress Production Inkjet systems.

Impika was founded in 2003 by a team of 11 engineering experts and today offers a portolio of aqueous inkjet presses based on proprietary technology. The company had a significant presence at drupa last year where it presented its iPrint range of continuous feed production presses. The company has a 32,000 square foot warehouse and assembly facility in Aubagne, France.

"We’ve succeeded in developing one of the industry’s most formidable product lines," said Paul Morgavi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Impika. "To continue our growth, we need to be part of a leadership organization that has broad global distribution and service, a strong brand, and the same customer-centric culture that we champion. Xerox is a logical fit for our growing business and for our customers, who will benefit from Xerox’s shared focus on innovation to advance digital color printing."

"A hallmark of Xerox’s long-term success is our focus on innovation, and Impika has demonstrated an innovative approach to advanced production inkjet printing that complements Xerox’s technology," said Jeff Jacobson, president of Xerox’s Graphic Communications Operations. "We have established leadership in serving the graphic communication marketplace. With Impika as part of our broader set of solutions, we’re bolstering our brand strength and better serving the market with digital products, solutions and resources to meet the needs of print providers so they can satisfy their clients and grow their businesses."

Xerox has been reselling the Impika brand in Europe since 2011. Impika’s operation, which includes 55 employees, led by Morgavi, will now report to Jacobson.

RP Graphics Group of Mississauga has made a second significant acquisition in the past three months with the purchase of Canadian Impact Imaging Corporation to expand its presence in the large-format sector. 

“This acquisition is a tremendous coup for RP Graphics Group on several levels,” stated Marc Fortier, President of RP Graphics, who joined the company in July 2012. “First, Canadian Impact Imaging has a broad range of print and finishing equipment that will compliment RP Graphics already impressive output capabilities for large format digital. Secondly, Canadian Impact Imaging’s wide-ranging expertise and creative capabilities will allow RP Graphics to expand its market reach in the dynamic market space.”

Founded in 1998, Canadian Impact Imaging is also a Mississauga-based company currently operating out of an 11,000-square-foot plant. It is described by RP Graphics as a single-source supplier for a range of large format inkjet and point of purchase (POP) applications.

“The drivers of this acquisition are the addition of revenue-generating assets and human resource expertise,” said George Mazzaferro, CEO of RP Graphics. “Bringing both the people and the technology of Canadian Impact into our fold were dual objectives for our company… This is a very strategic purchase, which creates immediate scale and scope in support of our stated business direction.”

In December 2012, RP Graphics purchased all outstanding shares of Data in Motion Marketing, a variable data imaging and specialty finishing company. That acquisition added significant capacity for RP Graphics to manage and process direct-mail work. Data in Motion Marketing was integrated into RP Graphics’ Mississauga facility and continues as its own brand in the market.

“The size and scope of the combined services we can now offer brings us into a unique group of suppliers in our served market,” stated Fortier. “These services include in-house creative support, physical design, high-quality printing, and the full range of finishing capabilities to service the large format digital and point of purchase markets.”

At the beginning of 2012, RP Graphics installed a new 40-inch Komori GL-640 press with a H-UV drying system. Among a range of equipment, the company also runs a 6-colour Komori LSX29, two iGen4 presses, and two Inca Sypder 320s for large-format work.

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