Mergers & Acquisitions
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.”
Supremex Inc. of LaSalle, Quebec, has purchased Premier Envelope Ltd., which employs around 70 people and generated approximately $12 million in annual revenues last year from the sale of stock and custom envelopes, both directly and through a network of distributors.

Supremex, self described as Canada’s largest manufacturer of stock and custom envelopes, as well as a packaging and specialty products, has five locations in Western Canada, two in Ontario, and two in Eastern Canada, as well as two locations south of the border. Supremex employs approximately 650 people.

“Premier Envelope is a tier one envelope supplier with outstanding manufacturing capabilities and strong complimentary customer relationships to Supremex’ existing customer base in Western Canada,” said Stewart Emerson, President & CEO of Supremex. “With immediate synergies, this transaction enhances our go-to-market   wherewithal, significantly elevates our manufacturing capabilities in Western Canada and improves our ability to unlock capacity in Eastern Canada to support our growth strategy in the United States via our Buffalo Envelope and Classic Envelope platforms.”

Premier Envelope has two principal manufacturing locations in Richmond, British Columbia, and Edmonton, Alberta and also operates a satellite plant in Mississauga, Ont.
Flint Group moved to acquire toner press maker Xeikon N.V. with an agreement to purchase XBC B.V., a company that holds more than 95 percent of the shares in Xeikon. The acquisition remains subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close before the end of 2015.

Headquartered in Eede, Netherlands, with Belgian operations in Lier, Ieper and Heultje, Xeikon also develops consumables for its presses used in packaging, label and commercial printing operations.

Flint explains Xeikon’s products and services will become the foundation of a newly created division to be called Flint Group Digital Printing Solutions. “This acquisition represents an excellent opportunity for Flint Group, propelling the organization further into the digital solutions market, where we will continue to deliver on our long term strategy of driving growth through product innovation, focus on developing markets and portfolio expansion,” said Antoine Fady, CEO Flint Group.

Wim Maes, CEO of Xeikon, will become President of Flint Group’s Digital Printing Solutions division, reporting to Antoine Fady. “Xeikon has shown that dedication to the digital label, folding carton, commercial and document printing market segments has paid off in terms of market share, customer satisfaction and financial contribution,” said Maes. “This next chapter in our more than 20-year existence opens many opportunities for Xeikon as a company, as well as for our customers, employees, partners and stakeholders.”

Mike Heggie has acquired Grovetree Press, a high-volume trade lamination company that has been serving the Greater Toronto Area printing industry since 1998. Grovetree runs eight lamination systems, two coaters, and a range of auxiliary machines such as eyeleters, cutters, and drills.

Heggie explains his first order of business is to shore up current services at Grovetree and to make some internal changes to become more efficient and service oriented. Earlier this month, Grovetree Press hired Selma Singh as Operations Manager. Formerly with Coatings Canada, Singh brings 16 years of experience in print finishing to Grovetree Press. She will be responsible for all operations, including customer service, with the company.

Heggie continues to explain growth for the North York-based company is to come through innovative finishing products that are completely new to the industry. He plans to focus Grovetree in two directions, including specialty products for offset printing and packaging, and specialty coatings for digital printing.  

Safety Seal Plastic has agreed to buy the shrink sleeve business of Jones Packaging Inc. of London, Ontario, according to Plasticnews.com. The Guelph Mercury newspaper also reports that, as a result of the purchase, Safety Seal plans to move the shrink sleeve operation to Guelph after purchasing a 50,000-square-foot building in the Ontario city.

Plasticnews.com reports the current Safety Seal operation in Hamilton, Ont., is on four levels and accounts for just 18,000 square feet in area. Safety Seal operates eight printing presses, explains Plasticnews.com, as well as seaming machines, cutting machines and slitters to make shrink sleeves for customers in food and beverage, pharmaceutical, consumer goods and other industries.

Safety Seal Plastics was formed in 1989 to provide PVC (polyvinyl chloride) tamper-evident bands to the pharmaceutical and food industries. The company grew to become one of North America’s largest shrink sleeve manufacturers. Safety Seal states its major breakthrough came five years ago when it began printing multicoloyred shrink sleeves on a new eight-colour Chromas LXflexo.

Safety Seal’s client base include major brands like Ocean Spray, Associated Brands, E.D. Smith & Sons, Patheon, McCormick Canada, Bausch & Lomb, Cadbury Schweppes, Ciba Vision, Renee’s Gourmet Foods, Lounsbury Foods, Novopharm, Pfizer Canada, Stoney Creek Dairy, Trophy Foods, Unico and Wrigley.
C.J. Graphics became the first company in North America to purchase a Scodix Ultra Pro with Scodix Foil. News of the purchase comes a week after the Toronto printing company announced its Canada-first installation of a new Highcon Euclid II+ system.

On September 10, the C.J. Group of Companies, which controls C.J. Graphics, also announced its acquisition of Toronto-based SBC Media, one of Canada’s leading sports lifestyle media companies.

Launched this week at Graph Expo, Scodix Foil is an inline digital foiling system supporting the Scodix Ultra Pro enhancement press. Scodix Foil is designed for producing cost-effective foil with run lengths from one up to 10,000. Most printing projects, such as packaging, brochures, business cards, invitations and book covers, can be enhanced via the Scodix Ultra Pro system.

The C.J. Group of Companies’ acquisition of SBC Media includes six magazines, two annual guides and all related websites, social media platforms and assets, which will operate under the C.J. Oyster Publishing division of the C.J. Group. Former printing industry journalist Filomena Tamburri joined C.J. Oyster Publishing several weeks ago as Group Publisher.

The SBC titles and brands moving to the C.J. Group umbrella include: Snowboard Canada, SBC Skateboard, SBC Skier, SBC Wakeboard, SBC Business, SBC Ski & Snowboard Resort Guide (annual), Snowboard Canada Women’s (annual), and SBC Surf.

“SBC is woven into the fabric of skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, wakeboarding and action sports across Canada. Our vision and leadership will ensure athletes, content producers and brands continue to have a prestigious national, multi-media platform to showcase their sports, lifestyles and products,” said Jay Mandarino, CEO and President of the C.J. Group of Companies. “We are very excited by the positive support we’ve received from the action sports industry and community about our acquisition.”

TC Transcontinental Inc. entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ultra Flex Packaging Corp., a supplier of flexible packaging, located in Brooklyn, New York. The acquisition is for US$80 million to be paid in cash at closing, plus an additional undisclosed payment if certain financial targets are hit.

Ultra Flex Packaging employs close to 300 people and generated US$72 million in annual revenues and US$12 million in operating income before amortization in its last fiscal year. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval in the United States and is expected to close before the end of our fiscal year.

“This acquisition builds on our Capri Packaging acquisition last year and is part of our strategy to ensure our future growth path through diversification,” said François Olivier, President and CEO of TC Transcontinental. “This latest acquisition expands our footprint in the U.S., gives us access to a national sales force, to new vertical markets and manufacturing capabilities.”

Olivier explains, when the acquisition is completed, TC Transcontinental expects to report annualized revenues of over US$150 million in its packaging division.

The three co-owners of Ultra Flex Packaging have agreed to stay for the acquisition transition. “We are very pleased to join TC Transcontinental,” said Eli Blatt, founder and CEO of Ultra Flex Packaging. “While we bring to the table industry knowledge, a highly skilled workforce and a national sales team, TC Transcontinental brings strong leadership, financial means and decades of manufacturing experience.”

ND Graphics Inc., a technology distributor primarily focused on large-format imaging, has purchased Western Rim Industries, which has offices in Kelowna, British Columbia, and Mississauga, Ontario.

“We’ve been talking about this for a few years now,” said Garwood Leigh, owner of Western Rim Industries (WRI). “I knew that when the time came for me to retire and move on to pursue my other interests that I wanted ND Graphics to take over. They are a Canadian company, they share the same values as WRI and I know they will continue the legacy of Western Rim.”

ND Graphics is headquartered in Greater Toronto with more than 100 employees and a network of stocking locations in Dartmouth, Montreal, Ottawa, London, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, as well as Toronto.

“This was really a very easy decision for us,” said Mark West, President of ND Graphics. “WRI are so similar to ND in terms of their products, but more importantly their culture. Their people are the key. They are passionate about what they do, they are totally committed to their customers and they’ve all been at WRI for many years.”
 
WRI will operate as a standalone business with Frank Braeuer as General Manager of the company. “This acquisition isn’t about synergies,” said West. “This is about bringing two great Canadian companies together [and] maintaining those value added elements that both organizations possess.”
Shanghai Electric Corporation (SEC) of China entered into an agreement to sell Goss International, a global web-offset printing press supplier, and its subsidiaries to New York’s American Industrial Partners (AIP), which is a middle-market private equity firm that has been investing in North American industrial businesses since 1989. The AIP transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and meeting certain closing conditions over the next few weeks.

In November 2012, AIP, through its MAI Holdings affiliate, purchased Presstek Inc., which develops DI presses and CTP systems, as well as environmentally progressive plate technology. In August 2014, AIP sold its majority interest in Mark Andy, which develops flexographic press technology, to a new investment group formed by P.J. Desai, who is Mark Andy's former CEO. AIP also previously owned pressroom consumables manufacturer Day International.

SEC noted AIP’s past and current holdings in printing machinery manufacturers as a positive move forward in the ownership of Goss. “As a leading supplier of commercial web, newspaper and packaging offset printing presses, Goss is wholly committed to its valued, worldwide customer base and to the sale and support of its broad range of the industry's most innovative products,” said Rick Nichols, CEO, Goss International.

AIP currently holds more than $1 billion of equity capital under management and has completed more than 30 transactions since its founding in 1989.

Cansel, which distributes a range of software and hardware technologies for commercial and packaging printing, in addition to other graphics arenas, today announced its acquisition of Ernest Green & Son Ltd., which has been a staple of Canada’s printing industry for more than 60 years.

“This acquisition marks our commitment of expanding in the print and graphics space,” said Stephen Fletcher, VP of Cansel. “Ernest Green & Son has been a leading supplier to the commercial print marketplace in Canada and brings a depth of expertise, products and clients that we don't currently have in our organization; we are extremely excited to have them on board with Cansel.”

Ernest Green & Son began as a small family-owned business in Montreal, opened by Ernest Green and his son, Ric, to distribute pressroom technologies to printers. After Ernest's retirement in 1962, Ric, who had earlier departed to Ontario in 1951 to open up a Toronto branch, Ernest Green & Son moved its headquarters to Toronto in 1963.

In 1964, Dennis Lynch joined the company and in 1990 assumed the position of President and COO. In 1974, Ernest's grandson Doug joined the company and in 1990 become Executive Vice-President, before taking on leadership of the company as President & COO.

Today, Ernest Green & Son’s distribution and service portfolio, with branches stretching from Quebec to British Columbia, primarily focuses on flexographic packaging, commercial offset, toner and wide-format inkjet printing.

“We are very pleased to join the Cansel team,” said Doug Green, President, Ernest Green & Son. “We see this as a great opportunity to broaden our footprint, and enhance the product offering and level of service that we are able to offer our loyal customer base.”

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