Mergers & Acquisitions
Supremex of Montreal has concluded the acquisition of Stuart Packaging Inc., a folding-carton printer for the consumer market, based in Mont-Royal, Quebec. Supremex is a manufacturer and marketer of stock and custom envelopes, as well as packaging and specialty products, for the North American market.

This acquisition, according to the company, brings its share of total revenues from packaging and specialty products to more than 22 percent on an annual pro-forma basis and represents a key building block for its growth strategy.

The transaction was concluded for total cash consideration of $17.5 million, in addition, an amount of up to $2.1 million will be payable in 24 months subject to the realization of certain pre-established financial targets over that period.

Founded in 1983 by Stuart Goldman, Stuart Packaging generated annual revenues of approximately  $18 million over the past 12 months. It employs approximately 65 people at a 68,000-square-foot facility.
Jet Label & Packaging of Edmonton, Alberta, described as Western Canada’s largest producer of labels and printed tape, has acquired United Label Company of Coquitlam, BC. Jet Label explains the additional space and production capacity will allow it to double in size over the next two years, during which time additional infrastructure investments will be made to the newly acquired facility.  
 
United Label’s facility currently operates four conventional flexographic presses ranging in width from seven to 10 inches and 3- to 8-station colour capabilities, as well as a variety of slitters, rewinders, finishing systems and inspection systems. Jet Label’s Edmonton facility, which operates 24/7 across three shifts, utilizes two HP Indigo Digital presses along with 12 traditional flexographic presses ranging in width from  six to 20 inches and 3- to 10-colour station capabilities. Less than a year ago, Jet Label & Packaging began installing two systems from print inspection manufacturer AVT at its manufacturing facility in Edmonton, Alberta. 

Acquiring United Label Company greatly expands one of Jet Label’s key customer sectors: mass-market retail.  United Label Company’s client roster currently includes a variety of retailers, wholesalers, and pharmacies, among them Costco, IGA, London Drugs and Safeway.

“Combining forces with our friends at United Label Company is a perfect fit for Jet Label strategically, bolstering our retail sector business segment while providing much-needed additional capacity to other branches of our customer portfolio,” said Darrell Friesen, President of Jet Label & Packaging Ltd. “Along with VP of Operations Rodney Froment and the entire team at Jet Label, I’m proud to welcome the staff at United Label Company into our family, and look forward to years of continued growth and success.”

Founded in 1998 and headquartered in its 54,000-square-foot Edmonton facility, Jet Label manufactures labels and printed tape for industries food & beverage and grocery stores, consumer packaged goods, pharmaceuticals, forestry, and industrial applications.

The company explains it produces a range of durable, reliably water- and weatherproof labels that stand up to the types of harsh conditions in which many of its customers operate. Jet Label also produces a variety of address labels, and supplies parking and boarding passes and baggage tags to Edmonton International Airport.
LSC Communications, the Chicago-based printing entity spun off from RR Donnelley in October 2016, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Creel Printing, a privately owned offset and digital printing company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. The acquisition would bring together two of North America’s largest printing companies, including LSC which holds two of its 49 facilities in Canada – Mississauga and Newmarket.

“The alignment with LSC will create tremendous value for both companies, our employees and our loyal customers. I personally am incredibly excited about the future of Creel and LSC,” said Creel’s CEO, Allan Creel. Creel’s capabilities include full-colour web and sheetfed printing, variable digital production, large-format printing, and integrated digital solutions. Creel’s history dates back to the 1950s. The company runs a 250,000-square-foot facility in Las Vegas and four digital facilities, including a plant in France.

According to U.S.-based trade magazine Printing Impressions, Creel has approximately 700 employees operating out of six facilities across the country and – based on the magazine’s annual 400 listing – is ranked among the Top 10 largest publication and the Top 50 commercial printers in the country. The Printing Impressions 400 listing indicated Creel generated sales of US$130.1 million in its most recent fiscal year.

Led by Chairman and CEO Thomas Quinlan III, LSC ranked No. 3 on the latest Printing Impressions 400, reporting 2016 revenues of US$3.65 billion with 49 manufacturing plants and approximately 20,000 employees. LSC has facilities in the United States, Poland, Mexico and Canada.

“This acquisition will expand the capabilities of LSC’s offset and digital production platform and bring enhanced technologies to support our clients’ evolving needs, specifically in the magazine media and retail marketing industries,” said Quinlan. “With one of the most advanced digital platforms in the U.S., plus a strong west coast presence, Creel is an excellent fit for LSC.”
Quark Software Inc. has been acquired by Parallax Capital Partners LLC, a southern California-based private equity firm, founded in January 1999 to make investments in middle market software and related technology companies. It has since acquired more than 20 companies typically generating anywhere from $5 to $100 million in annual revenues.

Parallax states it intends, through organic growth and acquisitions, to help Quark accelerate the adoption of its content automation solutions, which enables organizations to deliver content (text, video, data, etc.) to any format and channel – mobile, print, Web and more. In May 2017, Quark also released a new version of its QuarkXPress software.

Quark has positioned itself as a leader in content automation and was recently selected as a Gartner Cool Vendor in Content Services and a 2017 SIIA CODiE Award finalist for Best Multi-Channel Publishing Platform.

“Quark has achieved what so many established brands fail to, which is to reinvent our company in the face of insurmountable odds,” said Quark President and CEO Ray Schiavone. “Through content automation, today Quark enables some of the world’s largest organizations to transform customer experience, reduce time-to-market, improve compliance and reduce costs.”

Financial details of the acquisition were not released. Piper Jaffray, an investment bank and asset management firm, served as the exclusive financial advisor to Quark in this transaction.

“Quark is having a transformational impact within a wide range of industries, completely redefining how organizations create, manage, publish and deliver business-critical content,” said James Hale, Managing Partner at Parallax. “This is a company with outstanding talent and leadership, innovative technology and acclaimed customer base.”
The C.J. Group of Companies has purchased Clixx, one of the top mailing facilities in Canada, from WestRock Company. WestRock had owned Clixx for a little more than a year after reaching an agreement in December 2015 to acquire six Cenveo Packaging facilities, including Clixx.

Clixx is now added to C.J. Group’s roster of 30 companies, which are to be housed in the company’s new 230,000-square-foot facility in Mississauga, Ontario. After taking possession of the facility in May 2017, C.J. Group is scheduled to move its opeartions in by October 2017. Sherwin Abrazaldo, a Clixx veteran, will head up the new C.J. Group Clixx division and lead the move to its new Mississauga home on 560 Hensall Circle.

“This acquisition [of Clixx] is a great fit for our ever-expanding group of companies,” said Jay Mandarino, President & CEO, C.J. Group. “There is a lot of synergy between our two organizations. Quality and workmanship with exceptional service are paramount at both [C.J. Group] and Clixx.”

The acquisition adds a host of equipment and services to the C.J. Group’s existing resources, while also increasing the company’s overall versatility. Clixx offers a full line of direct-mail services like variable data printing and binding, in-house data and postal technologies, pick and pack, kitting and fulfillment, inserting, tipping, and many other related mailing services. Clixx began in 1986 as A&T Mailing Services and soon established itself as a premier mail house for charities, fundraisers and large corporations.

“With direct mail increasing each year this will be a great addition and was the last missing link to having all solutions under one roof to better serve our clients,” said Mandarino.
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.

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