Mergers & Acquisitions
Advertek Printing Inc., led by co-CEOs Joe Montalbano and Simon Spina, has purchased Smart Laser Graphics (SLG) to expand its market offerings in digital and print related services.

“Advertek has been on a strategic growth initiative to enhance its market position and emphasize the power of its single-source offering in a fragmented industry that is calling for stability and progressive continuity,” said Montalbano. “Our foremost commitment is to our clients, staff and vendor partners.”

The purchase enables Advertek to expand services around wide format and digital printing, as well as direct mail and full letter shop services. Collectively, Advertek’s new operation with SLG capabilities now proivdes branding and creative design services, customized e-stores, litho sheetfed, wide format and digital printing, direct mail and full letter shop services (in-house), binding and die cutting services with specialty finishes, fulfillment, warehousing, distribution and remote access proofing.

“SLG’s sales, customer service and operating resources have been instrumental in having their clients put their trust in the company’s product offering,” said Spina. “Clients of both companies can expect it to be business as usual, but with a broader suite of services, skills and solutions to meet the growing demands and complexities of the industry.”

In November 2010, Advertek began operating out of a new, custom-built 30,000-square-foot plant in Vaughan, Ontario. Montalbano and Spina took over Advertek’s ownership in 1999. At the time, Advertek was an 8-employee shop running a 4-colour Solna press. Today, the company has one of the most modern commercial printing facilities in Greater Toronto.
Cansel, a software, hardware, and service provider to engineering, surveying, construction, architecture, government and printing industries, has acquired PMP Media. The move expands Cansel’s presence in Quebec.

“This acquisition expands and strengthens our media and equipment offering,” said Stephen Fletcher, Vice President, Cansel. “And most importantly, the addition of PMP Media, increases our presence and customer support in Quebec."

Founded in 1978, PMP Media specializes in paper conversion and distribution of large format digital equipment and media, including specialty papers, inks and other supplies.

"We are excited to join Cansel," notes Richard Marleau, President, PMP Media. "As a supplier, this acquisition will strengthen our position in the large format market, allowing our customers to benefit from a wide range of products, equipment and large format services."
Rayacom Group based in Edmonton, Alberta, purchased the assets of Generation Printing of Vancouver, BC, and states the move will allow it to launch a new West Coast trade printing division. As part of the acquisition, Rayacom is adding a 40-inch Heidelberg CD102-6LX3 press with an anilox coater, factory UV prep, and a triple extended delivery, as well as an HP Indigo 5500R press.

By acquiring Generation, which was founded nearly 20 years ago by Edward and Rob Kouwenhoven, Rayacom explains it increases its total production space by 30,000. Rayacom previously had 11 branches across Canada including locations in Toronto, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, Kelowna, Burnaby and Vancouver.

A statement from Rayacom, which was founded in 2004, explains the Generation asset purchase will allow it to “reach new markets and better serve agencies and brokers within the trade printing market,” while also printing on larger sheet sizes, produce metallic prints and work with 48-point cardstock.

“Generation Printing is a significant player in the Vancouver market, with unique manufacturing capabilities and strong complimentary customer relationships,” said Austin Tran, Rayacom Group’s CEO. “With immediate synergies, this transaction enhances our market presence in the West Coast, and significantly elevates our manufacturing capabilities while improving our ability to unlock capacities in our various stores across Canada.”

Generation Printing will continue to operate as an individual entity. “Rayacom's national footprint and innovative approach to printing makes them the perfect company to take our organization to the next level. This strategic acquisition will create more and better choices for our customers and we anticipate a seamless transition,” said Edward Kouwenhoven, CEO of Generation Printing.

The PDI Group of Kirkland, Quebec, has entered into an exclusive agreement, through its wholly owned subsidiary Trans-Optique Inc., to merge its large-format-printing operations with those of both Imagerie DB Inc. and Inc. The move will create a significant Canadian large-format printing operation in the Montreal region.

The three companies plan to begin working together within a new, dedicated facility this summer. The resulting operation will be called PDI Large Format Solutions Inc. A statement released by PDI on the mergers explains: “The merger of our three companies will create an amazing synergy where our creative approach, our production capacity and our sales expertise will allow us to bring to market a greater depth and integration of capabilities that will define us as undeniable leaders in this domain.”

PDI Inc. describes itself as the largest independent sheetfed printing company in Quebec, providing services like premedia, offset, toner and large-format production, as well as Web-to-print, fulfillment, warehousing and direct-mail services to clients in Quebec, Canada and in the United States.

The PDI Group made its first major commitment to the large-format-printing sector in late-2014 by acquiring one of Quebec’s best know operations, Trans-Optique based in Montreal’s area of Pointe-Claire.

Based in Boisbriand, Quebec, Imagerie DB Inc., in addition to its extensive prepress background, has been focusing on the large-format-printing segment for more than 14 years. The company is led by President Benoit Paquette and Vice President Denis Paquette. Inc. of Terrebonne, Quebec, is described as a large-format-print provider with a multifaceted approach, including services like design and installation. It has more than 20 years of experience in the sector.

“LVP’s proven strength and experience in creative conceptualizations and consultative approach to customer service will enable customers to utilize truly unique sign and display capabilities to empower their brands and communication strategies,” said Francis Tellier, President of Inc.
Bobst Group SA and WIFAG-Polytype Group, both of Switzerland, have entered into what the companies describe as exclusive negotiations with regard to Bobst acquiring WIFAG-Polytype’s coating technology business.

The proposed transaction is subject to the parties reaching a definitive agreement, with the closing of the transaction expected to occur at the end of the second quarter of 2016. The transaction would also be subject to customary regulatory approvals.

WIFAG-Polytype Group is a privately owned international engineering and manufacturing company with headquarters in Fribourg, Switzerland. The group focuses on the production of printing machines for plastic containers and tubes and metal packaging equipment, as well as in the development of high-precision coating and laminating equipment and process solutions for the production of multilayer films and papers. WIFAG-Polytype Group maintains sites in Asia, U.S., and Europe and employs more than 800 people worldwide.

Bobst is one of the world’s leading suppliers of equipment and services to packaging and label manufacturers in the folding carton, corrugated board and flexible materials industries.

Founded in 1890 by Joseph Bobst in Lausanne, Switzerland, Bobst generated around $1.8 billion in revenues in its most recent fiscal year and has a presence in more than 50 countries, runs 12 production facilities in eight countries and employs close to 5,000 people.

Eastman Kodak Company announced it is in talks to sell its Prosper-branded enterprise inkjet business. Sagent Advisors, an independent investment bank, and DC Advisory, a European corporate finance adviser, which share Daiwa Securities, a Japanese investment bank, as a common shareholder, have been engaged by Kodak to manage the sale process.

“The Prosper business has significant potential for accelerated growth,” said Jeff Clarke, Kodak CEO. “To achieve its full economic potential, Prosper will be best leveraged by a company with a larger sales and distribution footprint in digital printing markets.”

At the same, Kodak announced functional 3D printing, including touch screen sensors, to be an important future element of its business. After looking at both silver and copper metal mesh technologies, Kodak has decided to focus on copper. Kodak will exit its position in silver metal mesh development, but will continue to make silver halide film available to touch screen sensor manufacturers.

At the start of March, Kodak announced plans to debut its next generation inkjet platform called Ultrastream, in May at drupa, built on its continuous inkjet Stream technology. It holds an 8-inch configuration for label production, and features what Kodak describes as a smaller drop size and precise placement accuracy for higher resolution.

International Paper of Memphis  entered into a definitive agreement to sell its corrugated packaging business in China and Southeast Asia to Xiamen Bridge Hexing Equity Investment Partnership Enterprise. International Paper's corrugated packaging business in Asia has 18 plants and a workforce of approximately 3,000 employees.

Under terms of the transaction, International Paper will receive a total of approximately RMB 1 billion (approximately US$150 million at current exchange rate), subject to post-closing adjustments and other payments, including the buyer's assumption of the liability for loans of approximately US$50 million to be paid to International Paper within six months of closing of the sale.

The transaction is expected to be complete in the next few months.
Presstek LLC has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the business and operations of Anocoil Corporation, which is expected to close at the end of March.

Anocoil, founded in 1958, is one of North America’s largest independent producers of analogue and digital offset printing plates for the newspaper and commercial market segments. The company explains its development strength is focused in the areas of aluminum substrate and coating technology, which Presstek plans to leverage for generating new environmentally progressive printing technologies.

 “I, along with all of Anocoil’s employees, am thrilled to be partnering with Presstek for the next stage of our company’s growth,” said David Bujese, Anocoil’s President. "With Presstek we have found a strategic partner committed to being an innovative market leader.”
Founded in 1987, Presstek’s core product portfolio includes: 4- to 6-colour DI presses; thermal and inkjet Computer-to-Plate systems; and printing plates for DI presses and CTP applications (waterless, thermal and inkjet). Presstek also has a global network of service technicians supporting prepress, press, and post-press equipment.

“We are excited about bringing the two companies together as we expand our product offerings and capabilities,” said Sparsh Bhargava, Presstek’s Chief Executive Officer. “Both Presstek and Anocoil have extremely talented employees and a long history of innovation.”
EFI has acquired Rialco Limited, described as one of Europe’s leading suppliers of dye powders and colour products for digital print and industrial manufacturing industries.
Based in Bradford, UK, Rialco will now operate as part of EFI’s industrial inkjet business as the California company plans to expand its inkjet portfolio with Rialco’s ink component capabilities.
EFI explains the dye-sublimation ink market Rialco serves is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the global ink industry, based on new research from Smithers Pira forecasting 18.4 percent year-over-year growth in dye-sublimated material print volumes through 2021, and a greater than 100 percent increase in volume and value of dye-sublimated printed material in that same time frame.

Financial terms of EFI’s acquisition of Rialco were not disclosed, but the deal is not expected to be material to EFI’s Q1 or full-year 2016 financial results.
“The deal announced today gives EFI the platform to extend the technical advantages we provide to customers in the signage, textile, ceramics and other industries that are rapidly transitioning from analog to digital printing,” said Stephen Emery, VP of EFI’s ink business.
Flint Group has issued a binding offer to Siegwerk to acquire its web offset business. This offer includes the transfer of all technical expertise and product portfolios relating to Siegwerk’s Heatset and Newsink product lines.

“We are very excited by this transaction,” said Antoine Fady, CEO, Flint Group. “This commitment guarantees a long term supply position for our heatset and news ink customers and further enhances our strong focus on the print media and packaging markets across the world.”

Siegwerk explains its decision to sell its web offset business is in line with a strategy to focus on its core business in packaging printing; and to further build its market share in inks and coatings for labels and flexible packaging.

“To ensure the lasting success of our company, we need to clearly devote our resources to serving the markets of tomorrow. We will do so by focusing on our core packaging printing business,” said Siegwerk’s CEO Herbert Forker. “It is here where we see significant growth opportunities particularly within the strongly accelerating Asian markets.”

All 76 permanent employees in Siegwerk’s web offset business will be offered a transfer into other areas within their Siegburg site with Flint Group stating it intends to employ a core team from Siegwerk’s web-offset business after the sale.

The Siegwerk publication gravure business, which manufactures printing inks for high-end magazines, catalogues and commercials, will be continued. The company claims to have market share of around 45 percent in Europe in this area.
Members of the of the Association for Leaders in Print, Mail, Fulfillment, and Marketing Services, known as Epicomm, are to vote tomorrow, February 17, to approve their merger with IDEAlliance, a trade association best known for its control of the G7 colour calibration model.

Through an earlier agreement with Idealliance, waving that association’s US$450 membership fee, Epicomm members had direct access to the Idealliance series of G7 Master facility qualification and G7 Professional and Expert certification programs, as well as a series of online Color Management Professional Certification.

Epicomm is a not-for-profit business management association representing North American companies involved in the printing and imaging industries. It was created in 2014 through the merger of the Association of Marketing Service Providers (AMSP) and the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL)/National Association of Quick Printers (NAQP).

Earlier in February, the executive leaders Idealliance and Epicomm voted to recommend the merger of the two industry associations to their respective memberships. The boards then approved the merger in separate meetings last week and both associations will now present the merger proposal to a vote of their memberships according to the regulations of their respective bylaws. Voting is expected to be complete by the end of February.

If the merger passes, Idealliance President and Chief Executive Officer David Steinhardt is to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of the new association and Epicomm President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Garner as Executive Vice President.
Holland & Crosby Ltd. of Mississauga, Ont., on January 1 completed the purchase of the assets of screen-printing company Colormark Limited, also located in Mississauga. Colormark had been a family-run business for more than 40 years and is noted as being one of the only screen-printing companies in North America to research, develop and manufacture its own line of eco-friendly UV screen inks in-house.

Founded in 1932, Holland & Crosby specializes in the design, manufacture and distribution of P.O.P. signage and displays to the retail marketplace across North America. The Colormark acquisition results in both companies co-locating in a new 70,000-square-foot facility, which also includes significant investments in a range of new printing technologies.

“We’re really excited to get into our new space and produce projects even more efficiently,” said Scott Crosby, Holland & Crosby, VP of Sales & Marketing.

The company’s new technologies are focused around two Inca Onset purchased presses from Fujifilm, including the Onset X1 with a special orange ink configuration, and the Onset X3 press with three banks of CMYK, a 5 x 10-foot vacuum bed and output of over 9,000 square feet per hour. It is the first press of its kind to be installed in North America, and only the second worldwide.

Holland & Crosby has also made changes to its cutting solutions, replacing existing cutting tables with two new Kongsberg C Series 10 x 10-foot tables from Esko that are expected run 2.5 times faster than previous systems. Holland & Crosby is anticipating as much as 50 percent improvements in throughput based on these equipment acquisitions.
Ricoh Company Ltd. of Tokyo has reached an agreement to buy U.S.-based AnaJet, which develops and manufacturers direct to garment (DTG) printing systems. AnaJet is to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ricoh Printing Systems America Inc.

Founded in 2006, AnaJet states it was one of the first companies in the world to mass-produce digital garment printers. The company is currently producing its third-generation series of direct to garment printers, called the mPower i-series. The majority of AnaJet products available today leverage Ricoh’s inkjet print heads.

The acquisition allows Ricoh, which has traditionally focused on office and commercial print technologies, to strengthen its position in the industrial inkjet market, where the company has been a major global player with its print-head development.
AnaJet will continue to operate under its current name, management team and capabilities, which currently includes more than 50 employees based in Costa Mesa, California.

“At AnaJet, we have led the industry in establishing the trend of direct to garment printing,” said Karl Tipre, CEO of AnaJet.  “Today we are very pleased to announce that this acquisition will provide our expanding customer base with the services of yet another global leader in Ricoh.  We are extremely excited for what lies ahead for the AnaJet brand and our customers.”
Sun Chemical entered into a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets and liabilities of Colmar Inks Corporation based in Toronto. Colmar is a manufacturer of liquid inks and coatings for the corrugated and paper packaging market, as well as specialty inks for the rod coatings market.

Colmar describes itself as Ontario’s leading supplier of water-based inks to the post-print corrugated box market, holding a market share of more than 50 percent in the sector, while also providing products for commercial sheetfed printing.

Under terms of the agreement, Sun Chemical is to purchase Colmar’s customer lists, contracts, and finished inventory. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2016. Sun Chemical explains the acquisition will enable it to expand its liquid ink customer base in Canada and strengthen its market position as a supplier of lithographic, flexographic and gravure inks and coatings.
“Our customer relationships are our most treasured asset and we are excited about the opportunity to serve these new customers with the expanded capabilities of Sun Chemical’s global technology base,” said Charles Murray, President, North American Inks, Sun Chemical.

Colmar Ink and Chemical Corporation was formed in 1984 to acquire and operate the Hendershot Inks Company, which itself had operated in the Ontario and Quebec markets for 40 years. Colmar Corporation is owned and managed by Ralph Marshall who has spent his entire career in the ink manufacturing industry. Marshall is a past president of the Canadian Printing Ink Manufacturers Association, and has served as a director of the Canadian Paper Box Manufacturers Association.

Headquartered in New Jersey, Sun Chemical, a member of the DIC group, has annual sales of more than US$7.5 billion and over 20,000 employees supporting customers around the world.
WestRock Company entered into a definitive agreement worth approximately US$105 million to acquire Cenveo Packaging, which focuses on producing folded carton and litho display packaging. The deal involves six Cenveo facilities located in North America (U.S., Canada and Dominican Republic), which generated more than US$190 million in revenue over the past 12 months.

Cenveo Packaging's most prominent Canadian faclity, Cenveo MM&T, is located in Mississauga and was the subject of PrintAction's May 2015 cover story (read article), following the facility's installation of a massive 14-unit Heidelberg press.

WestRock was formed after the July 2015 merger of MeadWestvaco Corporation and Rock-Tenn Company, which made WestRock one of the world's largest paper and packaging companies with US$15 billion in annual revenue and 42,000 employees in 30 countries.

“With attractive and complementary customers, markets and facilities, Cenveo Packaging will be an excellent addition to our consumer packaging business,” said Steve Voorhees, CEO of WestRock. “By combining our operating expertise in folding cartons and integrating WestRock paperboard with Cenveo Packaging’s packaging and printing capabilities, we will be able to better serve our customers while generating significant synergies and performance improvements.”

Cenveo Packaging focuses on markets like food, beverage, pharma/nutraceutical, specialty tobacco and other consumer markets that use high-value packaging.

“We are excited to be able to offer customers a wider network of facilities and a more diverse set of capabilities, including MiraFoil, cold foil and low migration ink systems, each of which will help our customers to be even more successful in their markets,” said Craig Gunckel, Executive VP, Merchandising Displays and Folding Carton, Packaging Solutions, WestRock.

At closing, WestRock will pay a total consideration of approximately US$105 million. The transaction is anticipated to close in early 2016 following regulatory approval.

"The agreement brings conclusion to the review process of our Packaging Business which we started in the summer of 2015,” said Robert G. Burton, Sr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cenveo Inc. “The sale allows the company to focus management's efforts on its core operations, specifically our envelopes, labels, and commercial print segments where we hold leading market positions.”

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