The Lowe-Martin Group, led by CEO Ward Griffin, has moved to acquire RP Graphics Group Ltd., which operates a diverse commercial printing operation – with litho, toner, and inkjet production – in a 60,000-square-foot facility in Mississauga, Ont. The acquisition takes effect on February 1, 2016.
At the beginning of 2014, RP Graphics, led for more than three decades by CEO George Mazzaferro, was putting the final touches on a full-scale reorganization of its production floor, based on a range of recent, major equipment purchases and printing-company acquisitions. The plant reorganization was led by Marc Fortier, who joined RP Graphics Group as President, with an ownership interest, in mid-2012.
Mazzaferro will become a member of Lowe-Martin’s executive team and Fortier will manage Lowe-Martin’s business in Toronto. Fortier had held several high-profile positions within the Canadian printing industry prior to joining RP Graphics, including time spent as President of TI Group and Executive VP of Business Development and Digital Services at PLM Group (purchased by Transcontinental in 2007 for approximately $130 million).
At the beginning of 2012, RP Graphics installed a new 40-inch Komori GL-640 press with a H-UV drying system. At the time, the company also ran a 6-colour Komori LSX29, two iGen4 presses, and two Inca Sypder 320s for large-format work. In December 2012, RP Graphics purchased all outstanding shares of Data in Motion Marketing, a variable data imaging and specialty finishing company. That acquisition added significant capacity for RP Graphics to manage and process direct-mail work. Data in Motion Marketing was integrated into RP Graphics’ Mississauga facility and continues as its own brand in the market.
In February 2014, RP Graphics completed the installation of an Agfa M-Press Leopard, which is a four-colour industrial flatbed inkjet press that runs at 295 square metres per hour. A year earlier, RP Graphics stepped deeper into large-format printing with the purchase of 16-year-old Canadian Impact Imaging.
RP Graphics then installed its second 6-colour, 40-inch Komori GL press in mid-2014. In September 2014, RP Graphics acquired Rhino Print Solutions’ Toronto operations in what the two companies described as a “strategic alliance designed to deliver coast to coast print solutions.” Rhino’s Toronto facility was formerly Marcam Cross Media. In mid-2015, MET Fine Printers of Vancouver, BC, led by President Nikos Kallas, purchased certain assets and business activities of Rhino Print Solutions, including its Calgary facility.
In business since 1908, The Lowe-Martin Group employs 480 people and operates printing plants in Mississauga and Ottawa. With the RP acquisition, Lowe-Martin cements its position as one of Canada’s largest independent printing operations. RP Graphics Group employs 120 people.
Lowe-Martin explains its platform now includes: publications printing for more than 275 titles, offset printing, direct and multi-channel marketing, online ordering, mobile application development, wide-format printing, and distribution.
“This acquisition strengthens our offset and digital printing offering, expands our mailing services and gives us more wide-format options,” said Griffin, in a press release. “With the addition of RP Graphics to our team, the Lowe-Martin Group can deliver the highest-quality products at any run length.”