Mergers & Acquisitions

Cenveo Inc. announced today that it has agreed to sell its Forms and Business Documents Group to Ennis Inc., a manufacturer of printed business products and apparel headquartered in Midlothian, Texas. The agreement includes Cenveo’s Printegra and PrintXcel brands. The sale is expected to close during February 2012. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but trade liabilities will be assumed by Ennis.

“This divestiture allows Cenveo to focus on our core operations including labels, specialty packaging, envelopes, print and content management,” said Robert G. Burton, Sr., Chairman and CEO of Cenveo. “We remain committed to executing our game plan of operating niche growth businesses while using our cash flow to invest in and grow our higher margin product groups and de-leveraging our balance sheet to achieve our stated leverage targets by the end of next year.”



According to Ennis, the combined sales of PrintXcel and Printegra total approximately US$80 million annually. The PrintXcel facilities are located in Visalia, CA; Toledo, OH; Clarkesville, TN; and Fairhope, AL. The Printegra facilities are located in Livermore, CA; Arlington, TX; Smyrna, GA; Indianapolis, IN; Fairport, NY; and Greensboro, NC, with a sales office in Jaffrey, NH.



If the purchase succeeds, Ennis states it will continue to market the PrintXcel and Printegra brands in addition to its pressure-seal product line under the VersaSeal brand name. The acquisition will also expand Ennis’ commercial print capabilities and business check product lines, which are sold through more than 40,000 independent distributors.



“Ennis is pleased to add new locations and new products to our growing number of brands,” said Keith Walters, Chairman, President and CEO of Ennis. “This is a major addition to the Ennis family. This acquisition expands our check capabilities and capacity while adding new customers.”


As reported on Monday, manroland's insolvency proceedings have come to an agreement with its creditors with regards to the fate of the pressmaker. The company will sell its Augsberg web press facility to L. Possehl & Co. Its Offenbach facility will be bought out by its management and an unnamed investor. Possehl is also seeking a long-term supplier agreement with the Plauen plant. No financial arrangements were disclosed.

The decision will see massive cuts to the workforce: 2,200 jobs will be lost from its 4,700 current staff. manroland had about 2,200 workers in its Augsburg facility, 1,500 will be able to keep their jobs. At Offenbach, the number of jobs will be reduced to 750 from 1,760.

L. Possehl & Co. is a German manufacturing conglomerate of 130 companies in nine sectors: special purpose construction, precious metal processing, elastomer processing, electronics, international trading, mailroom systems, cleaning systems, textile finishing systems, and small and medium enterprise (SME) investments. Within its mailroom systems division is Böwe Systec, a provider of high performance envelope machines, which has been part of the Possehl Group since 2010. 


In a move to expand its inkjet focus with ceramic-tile printing, EFI has acquired privately held Cretaprint S.L. based in Castellón, Spain, from where the tile-printing technology developer will continue to operate for the foreseeable future.


Cretaprint claims to have a global network of over 1,700 customers. “We have been tracking the swift transformation from analogue to digital technology in tile imaging for quite some time, and have been deeply impressed with the fast growth and global leadership position of Cretaprint,” said Guy Gecht, CEO of EFI.



At the same time, EFI provided its preliminary results for the fourth quarter of 2011, ended December 31. For the fourth quarter the company expects revenues of approximately US$163 million compared to US$145 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. This marks EFI’s eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, according to the company, which noted how its Q4 results were largely driven by revenues in both its Inkjet and APPS/MIS segments.

 

McClelland & Stewart, the largest name in Canadian Publishing, is now a wholly owned company of Random House of Canada. The University of Toronto previously held 75 percent ownership of the century-old publishing house.

According to a press release by Random House Canada:

In recent years, the challenges facing publishers, including a difficult economy and digital-driven transitions facing the industry, have put significant pressure on M&S, and it has been experiencing financial challenges. Brad Martin observes, "We believe with McClelland & Stewart fully within the Random House of Canada family we will more effectively be able to meet these challenges to ensure the growth and long-term stability of this iconic Canadian publisher."

In 2000, Chairman and sole owner of M&S Avie Bennett donated the majority share (75 percent) to the University of Toronto while selling the remaining 25 percent to Random House of Canada.

"Random House of Canada has been a wonderful partner for McClelland & Stewart for the past eleven years," said Avie Bennett. "The commitments they have made to upholding the tradition of M&S and the ongoing focus on Canadian publishing assures me that M&S is in good hands."

McClelland & Goodchild was founded in 1906 by John McClelland and Frederick Goodchild. They were joined by George Stewart in 1913. Goodchild left the partnership in 1918 and it has been known as McClelland & Stewart since. Jack McClelland, John's son, joined the company in 1946 and steered the company towards publishing more Canadian content. After going through some trying times in the 1970s, the company was purchased by Avie Bennett in 1986. It has represented major Canadian literary authors such as Margret Atwood, Stephen Leacock, Michael Ondaatje and Farley Mowat.

Random House is a subsidiary of Bertelsmann AG, a multi-national media corporation and one of the world's largest publishing firms.

Web-to-print provider Vistaprint has purchased website builder company Webs Inc. in a deal worth US$117.5 million. The acquisition was completed last Thursday and is Vistaprint's second major purchase in two months; in October, Vistaprint purchased European photo book vendor Albumprinter for 60 million Euro.

"Webs' suite of products delivers incredible value to micro businesses, helping them to look professional online in order to grow their business," said Robert Keane, Chief Executive Officer of Vistaprint. "Vistaprint is already successfully delivering digital marketing services to our customer base, with hundreds of thousands of active registered customers and over $50 million in digital subscription revenues last fiscal year. Webs complements this success with a business model based primarily on free products that has achieved impressive customer reach. They are serving millions of users who are exactly the types of micro businesses that Vistaprint targets."

Webs Inc. is a DIY website building tool, founded in 2001 as Freewebs. The service offered free website hosting (with built-in advertisements) with an option for users to upgrade to premium features. The company also operates Pagemodo, a tool for small businesses to create attractive Facebook pages, and ContactMe, a communications tool for micro businesses. The company claims its revenues for calendar year 2011 to be about US$9 million. The company was founded by three brothers from the Mokhtarzada family and has about 50 employees.

Florida-based Baldwin Technology, which develops process-automation equipment and related consumables for the printing industry, signed an agreement to be acquired by Forsyth Baldwin LLC, which is a new company controlled by Forsyth Capital Investors.

The merger agreement also allows Baldwin’s board to solicit, receive, evaluate and enter into negotiations with respect to alternative proposals through January 28, 2012. If there is no superior offer, the Forsyth Baldwin transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012, subject to customary approvals and closing conditions.


“The transaction will improve Baldwin's financial strength and enable it to continue to operate effectively in its current markets and beyond,” stated Mark Becker, CEO of Baldwin. “Forsyth’s financial resources and management experience will accelerate the turnaround of Baldwin already underway. We believe this is a strong transaction for our stockholders, employees, customers and other partners.”

Under the agreement, Baldwin’s stockholders will receive $0.96 in cash for each share of Baldwin Class A or Class B Common Stock, subject to adjustment at closing based on certain criteria, including the extent that the difference between Baldwin’s aggregate cash balances and the balance of aged accounts payable is less than $1.8 million, provided that such adjustments cannot reduce the per share consideration below $0.90.


HP has purchased Hiflex Software GmbH, which was founded in Aachen, Germany, back in 1991 to develop Management Information System (MIS) software for the commercial printing industry. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“HP wants to break the traditional barriers of how and where business customers print, making it easy for them to produce custom or personalized materials anywhere, anytime,” said Vyomesh Joshi, Executive VP, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. “Hiflex’s technology provides a powerful platform to deliver on this goal as part of our overall cloud printing strategy.”


Within its MIS products, Hiflex also develops applications like Print Support and a Web-to-print system called Webshop.


Online printer Vistaprint has announced it has acquired Amsterdam-based Albumprinter for EUR60 million. Albumprinter has EUR38 million in revenues and 150 full-time employees. The deal with be worth 5 million Euros more if Albumprinter meets "certain financial objectives" in its 2012 financial year.

"We look forward to welcoming the Albumprinter team and to combining our talent and strengths in support of customers throughout Europe. Albumprinter brings a company culture focused on customer satisfaction, intuitive user interface software, strong photo book manufacturing experience, a premium brand and a solid financial profile," said Robert Keane, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vistaprint.
 
Vistaprint also announced its financial results for the company's first quarter of 2012, which ended September 30. The company has seen its revenue increase to US$212.4 million, a growth of 25 percent over the same period in 2011.

Operating income, however, has fallen 21 percent to $9.7 million, or 4.6 percent of revenue, compared to $12.3 million (7.2 percent of revenue) in Q1 2011. In the quarter, the company acquired 1.9 million new customers.

The company says it plans on making capital expenditures of $60-$75 million in 2012.  
 
On October 21, 2011, Vistaprint entered into a $250 million senior unsecured revolving credit facility with JPMorgan Chase Bank. The maturity date of the credit facility is October 21, 2016.

Torstar subsidiary Metroland Media Group has acquired Smiths Falls, Ontario-based Performance Printing for a sum of $22.5 million. Performance Printing is a commercial printer as well as a newspaper publisher of several Eastern Ontario publications under the EMC brand.

“The acquisition will allow Metroland, publisher of more than 100 newspapers primarily in the Greater Toronto Area, to extend its community newspaper and flyer distribution services to new communities in Eastern Ontario. The acquisition will also support Metroland’s extension of its growing suite of digital offerings,” said David Holland, President and Chief Executive Officer of Torstar Corporation.

EMC serves 27 communities in Ontario including Kingston, Belleville, Brockville, Smiths Falls and Ottawa, a total of 500,000 households a week. Performance Printing has also produced directories for 25 communities in Ontario for the past 33 years. Performance Printing was established in 1977 and claims to be the largest coldset printer in the Ottawa region.

Torstar also announced that it will increase its interest in the Metro newspaper operation, which it jointly owns with Metro International S.A. Torstar now owns 90 percent of the free daily chain, which publishes in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and London. Torstar publishes an edition in Halifax in collaboration with Transcontinental. The deal between Torstar and Metro International was worth $51.5 million.

“We have been very happy with the significant evolution of the Metro newspaper operation over the past decade and are pleased to increase our interest to 90% in this growing national franchise. For both readers and advertisers, Metro has proven to be an attractive medium in the communities it serves across Canada. We look forward to continuing to build on the success achieved to date working alongside Metro International who will continue to be our partner,” said Holland.

Roger Perron and Pierre Lachapelle, both executives with the Groupe BO Concept large-format printing company in Anjou, Quebec, have acquired the Sign-A-Rama master franchise to cover the province of Quebec.

Perron, who is Co-president of Groupe BO Concept, and Lachapelle, who is the company’s Sales and Marketing Director, have made the acquisition under a new company called Gestion Per-Lac. Perron and Lachapelle will continue in their roles with BO Concept.



There are currently three Sign-A-Rama locations in Quebec and the leaders of Gestion Per-Lac say they plan to expand the network in the province. “This investment, through the newly founded company Gestion Per-Lac, will undoubtedly start off a positive synergy with our franchisees.” stated Perron.

Lachapelle has been appointed as President of Sign-A-Rama Quebec. “Our goal is to share our expertise in signage and point-of-sale advertising with our franchisees to help them maximize profits,” he stated.

Sign-A-Rama is described as one of the largest signage store networks in the world with more than 950 points of sale in over 50 countries.



Schawk Inc. entered into an agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Lipson Associates Inc. and Laga Inc., better known in the marketplace by the name Brandimage. The deal is expected to close in early October.

Brandimage is described as a branding and design network specializing in brand positioning and strategy, product development and structural design, package design and environmental design. Brandimage, with unaudited 2010 revenues of approximately US$32 million, has operations in Chicago, Cincinnati, Paris, Brussels, Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong.

“This transaction will enhance our brand development offering as we continue to implement our strategy of providing both brand development and deployment across multiple mediums serviced and delivered on a global basis,” stated David Schawk, President and CEO.

Founded in 1953, Schawk had annual revenues of US$452.4 million in 2009, and currently runs more than 40 offices around the world, employing over 3,000 people.


Montreal-based Domtar has signed an agreement to acquire Attends Healthcare, manufacturer and supplier of incontinence products for US$315 million. This purchase moves Domtar into a new, growing market space which employs its paper and pulp products.

"This is a good transaction that allows us to take measured steps into the consumer products market in a product area where high single-digit global growth is expected," said John D. Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of Domtar. "We believe there is the potential to double Attends' earnings within five years and we are committed to unleashing the great organic growth potential. With this acquisition, we will consume internally some of our high quality Lighthouse fluff pulp produced in our nearby Plymouth, North Carolina mill. Domtar will continue to look for innovative ways to build growing businesses based on sustainable wood fiber."

Attends currently operates a 770,000-square-foot facility in North Carolina with nine production lines producing 170 SKUs of products. Attends has approximately 330 employees, annual sales of approximately US$200 million. Michael Fagan, current President and CEO of Attends, will stay on to manage the operations.


Quark today released a letter to its customers stating that it has been purchased by Platinum Equity, a California-based private equity firm. The company had been privately held by the Ebrahimi family since 2000.

"Quark is a legendary brand that helped create the desktop publishing market and is now helping organizations transform how they publish content both to print and digital media," said Brian Wall, partner at Platinum, in a statement. “Quark is committed to its loyal and dedicated user base and we are enthusiastic about the company’s new products, which are gaining traction and generating positive reviews. We believe that with their expertise and innovative software, Quark has the potential to revolutionize publishing again.”

Quark was founded in 1981 by Tim Gill and Mark Pope. Pope left in 1990, selling his shares to the rest of the executives. Fred Ebrahimi joined the company in 1986 as CEO. When Gill departed the company in 2000, he sold his shares to Ebrahimi, placing sole ownership in his hands. Ebrahimi retired in 2006 and passed all of his shares to his children.

Since its founding in 1995, Platinum Equity has closed over 115 deals worth $30 billion in aggregate revenues at the time of closing.

Platinum Equity has already "initiated a process focused on transitioning Quark to new ownership."

 A letter from the CEO

Dear Loyal Customer:

I am writing to share some fantastic news with you: Platinum Equity, a California-based private equity firm, has acquired Quark. This is a substantial step forward in the evolution of our business and one that we have been working toward for some time, because we know that it will provide new benefits to our customers and partners.

This transition comes at an exciting time for our company and our customers. Since I joined in 2006, we have made great strides in helping our customers realize dynamic publishing, have re-invigorated QuarkXPress, and have readied Quark to take an early leadership position in digital publishing.

As a global investment firm, Platinum Equity is well-positioned to help us continue to execute our dynamic publishing vision through their market reach, merger and acquisition experience, and operational support. Just as importantly, the firm shares Quark’s commitment to our customers. This is the natural next step in Quark’s evolution.

On behalf of the entire Quark team, I want to thank you once again for the relationship we have built and for your continued confidence in our capabilities. We look forward to earning that trust each and every day.

Should you have any questions at all, please e-mail us. We hope you’ll share the confidence and excitement that we have for this new chapter for Quark, our customers, and our partners.

Regards,


Ray Schiavone
Quark President and CEO



EFI's acquisition streak continues as the company announced it has acquired the privately-held Prism Group, based in Australia. Prism is a provider of MIS/ERP software for the printing and packaging industry. The terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

"We are extremely happy to bring Prism into our expanding portfolio of customer-centric technologies. They have built a very impressive list of clients in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, South Africa and North America, and we welcome those clients to our large global client base," said Marc Olin, GM of EFI's Software Applications business unit. "In addition, we're very excited to have Prism's employees join EFI and help us expand our rapidly growing global presence with their years of expertise in software for the printing and packaging industries."

"We intend to continue to meet the needs of Prism's existing client base with the same enthusiasm that Prism has for the many years they've been in business while offering them access to the full portfolio of EFI products," continued Olin.

"We are very excited to be joining EFI, the clear leader in the business process automation software space for printing and packaging companies," said Filip Buyse, President and CEO of Prism. "It is a natural fit for our client base and we look forward to introducing them to EFI's portfolio of solutions."

Prism software will become part of EFI's Software Applications (APPS) portfolio. EFI says it intends to integrate support and operations of Prism into the existing APPS organization, which will provide the EFI PrintSmith, EFI Pace, EFI Monarch and EFI Radius software products while continuing to support the existing Prism client base.

Prism is headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, with operations in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Prism's customers range from general commercial, web printing, mailing and publication printers, to label printers, packaging companies and converters.

Montreal-based Transcontinental Media has acquired the publishing assets of Groupe Le Canada Français, which employs around 160 staff and collaborators. The purchase includes 11 weekly and monthly printed titles, as well as Web portals that serve the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Granby areas of Quebec.



This includes the Le Canada Français newspaper, which Transcontinental describes as a paid local weekly with the largest circulation in Quebec, as well as Le Richelieu in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Le Coup d'Oeil in Napierville, Le Journal L'Express in Granby, L'Avenir & Des Rivières in Farnham and Le Guide in Cowansville. In all, these printed newspapers have a combined weekly circulation of more than 155,000 copies.



As for Web portals, which combined reach over 30,000 unique visitors per week, Transcontinental Media adds Canadafrancais.com, Granby.enregion.ca, Cowansville.enregion.ca, Farnham.enregion.ca and trouveztout.info to its digital-publishing network.

“The Groupe Le Canada Français is a jewel of the weekly press in Quebec, a newspaper institution that shares our goals of excellence and rigour,” said Natalie Larivière, President of Transcontinental Media. “This acquisition fits with our plans for developing our network in Montérégie and enhancing our integrated offering to regional and national advertisers.”

Le Canada Français was founded in 1860.


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