The consolidation of the printing and packaging business continues to select up momentum as new monetary gamers enter the sector. The brand new contenders, principally non-public fairness corporations with backing from a number of buyers, often transfer into an business section with an preliminary acquisition, a transaction that drives a stake within the floor, a deal that asserts their intention to spend money on and develop a enterprise in that particular sector. That first foray into the actual enterprise section is prone to be an organization that has ample dimension and profitability for use as a launching pad for additional acquisitions. From that preliminary platform funding, the funding corporations aggressively search out and full a number of sequential bolt-on acquisitions to increase their footprint within the focused market.
This pattern has been most evident and prevalent within the label and versatile packaging segments the place the PE-backed frenzy has, over the previous a number of years, reached a fever pitch of exercise. A number of non-public fairness patrons vying to construct out their platforms to attain vital market gravitas has led to sky-high buy multiples for label printing firms, a minimum of judged inside the worth context of the general printing and packaging business segments.
As we’ve got famous in earlier Goal Studies, our expectation has been that PE-driven consolidators would grow to be fascinated about different print-centric segments, particularly the manufacture of folding cartons. Just like labels and versatile packaging, folding carton manufacturing is characterised by recurring revenues, strict coloration administration, adherence to a wide range of technical necessities associated to the business vertical being served, and a continuing proliferation of name extensions which requires continuity of buyer interplay. These business options are engaging to personal fairness corporations that function within the decrease center market, precisely the extent of many family-operated privately-owned folding carton firms.
In contrast to labels and folding cartons, the extent of M&A exercise within the industrial printing area has been a lot quieter for a number of years. Industrial printing has a a lot larger dependence on the ebb and movement of selling budgets. Inside manufacturing in industrial print environments is characterised by the staccato rhythm of job-shop workflows. Industrial print has been and is more and more challenged by the continued transition of selling communications to digital media. Because of these elements, M&A exercise and enterprise values within the industrial printing section have lagged behind the opposite print segments, with fewer competing patrons and decrease buy multiples. Critically, in right now’s market-driven dynamic that’s extremely influenced by non-public fairness, the monetary gamers stayed on the sidelines and averted the extra generalized industrial segments of the printing business.
There are indicators of change. A number of monetary gamers have now emerged to sponsor vital platforms inside the basic industrial section. Nevertheless, industrial printing firm house owners shouldn’t confuse the looks of a choose few non-public fairness funds within the section with a return to the strong market and better valuations that characterised the marketplace for industrial printing firms within the nineteen-nineties. The non-public fairness gamers coming into the industrial printing section have been principally very selective, buying profitable worthwhile firms with various service choices together with upstream inventive companies and multi-channel supply of their clients’ communications. Run-of-the-mill industrial printing firms needn’t apply.
Folding Carton Veterans Get Again within the Recreation
Trade icons Marc Shore and Dennis Kaltman are again, establishing a brand-new platform firm. Leaving little doubt about their intentions to be critical gamers as they return to the business, the duo is heading up a brand new firm, Max Options, with backing from non-public fairness agency Jefferson Capital Companions. Shore and Kaltman labored collectively at Shorewood packaging and had been supported by Jefferson Capital Companions within the formation of Multi Packaging Options, a extremely profitable folding carton roll-up that was finally offered to Westrock, the huge publicly-traded paper and paperboard manufacturing firm.
Somewhat than begin with the acquisition of an current manufacturing firm, Max Options started by establishing two model new manufacturing vegetation centered on manufacturing of folding cartons and labels for the well being care and shopper markets. The primary plant to open, a 100K square-foot facility in Bristol, Pennsylvania, started operations in July. The second, additionally a brand new plant, is a 150K square-foot manufacturing unit in Harmony, North Carolina, and is slated to open this month.
The corporate introduced its first acquisition, the acquisition of Ellis Group, Canada’s largest family-owned and operated folding carton firm. The acquired firm operates three amenities within the Toronto area. Along with sheetfed offset capabilities, the corporate makes use of web-fed flexographic presses designed particularly for high-volume folding carton manufacturing.
One other entrant into the competition to consolidate the folding carton market is GPA International, with monetary backing from Sweden-based non-public fairness agency EQT Companions. GPA International has constructed up a community of folding carton vegetation, layered on high of the corporate’s core outsourcing experience, together with vegetation in Poland, Eire, the UK, in addition to US-based factories in Massachusetts and California (see GPA Global Emerges as Packaging Consolidator – December 2021 M&A).
The PE-backed roll-up of Oliver Printing & Packaging, sponsored by Pfingsten Companions, was not too long ago traded out in a secondary buyout to Tenex Capital. Pfingsten established the platform in 2016 with the acquisition of Cleveland area-based Oliver Printing, on the time a industrial printing firm that had efficiently transitioned a considerable portion of its enterprise to folding carton manufacturing. Constructing on that preliminary base, Pfingsten acquired a number of folding carton firms, together with Pohlig Packaging in Virginia, Boutwell Owens in Massachusetts, Skilled Picture in Oklahoma, and DISC Graphics in Hauppauge, New York the place the corporate is now headquartered.
Different PE-backed gamers consolidating the folding carton section embrace Radial Fairness Companions with the Lewisburg Printing platform, Mill Rock Capital’s Mill Rock Packaging roll-up, and Wellspring Capital’s Rohrer. (For extra, see Label Roll-Ups are Red Hot; Are Folding Cartons Next? – March 2022).
Industrial Printing Roll-Up Redux (Advertising and marketing Manufacturing Suppliers)
DCG One, based mostly in Seattle, Washington, acquired Corporate Communications Group (CCG), based mostly in Higher Marlboro, Maryland. Notably, DCG One payments itself as a “advertising companies group” and described its acquisition goal as an “built-in industrial print and direct advertising firm.” Whereas neither firm shies away from selling their roots within the printing business, nonetheless each DCG One and CCG clearly current their printing capabilities inside the framework of a broad vary of capabilities. Along with print, the mixed group provides strategic advertising, inventive design companies, net design, grand format printing, promotional merchandise, digital media advertising, success, junk mail companies, and oh sure, printing.
DCG One has been backed by Clavis Capital Companions and Dobbs Administration Service since January 2020. The transformation right into a advertising service supplier was underway on the time of the acquisition, after which accelerated with the acquisition of the Garrigan Lyman Group, a branding and digital promoting company with workplaces in Seattle and New York.
Publish Capital Companions, a personal fairness fund that focuses first on its belief and perception in an skilled government management workforce, and solely thereafter will spend money on a selected business, continued its help of the workforce at Ironmark, with the acquisition of Millennium Marketing Solutions.* Primarily based in Annapolis Junction, Maryland, Ironmark presents a complete worth proposition to its clients. With the moniker of an “Picture Firm,” Ironmark provides inventive companies, web site design, database integrations, search-engine-optimization, web-to-print, digital media advertising, success, and oh sure, printing. (see Commercial Print Awakes from M&A Slumber – June 2022).
The bought firm, Millennium Advertising and marketing Options, can also be based mostly in Annapolis Junction, and over time transitioned from a small print store right into a full-service advertising agency. Areas of experience embrace digital advertising, webpage design, graphic design, promotional merchandise, signage, and oh sure, printing.
Labels Stay the Division One Phase
Labels proceed to be probably the most sought-after section, if gauged by the variety of non-public fairness consolidators which have been competing to select up the diminished variety of appropriate impartial label printing firms that stay within the decrease center market.
Fortis Options Group introduced the acquisition of Digital Dogma, a label printing firm based mostly in Santa Fe Springs, California. Fortis is now backed by Harvest Companions which acquired the corporate in a secondary buyout from Primary Publish Companions in October 2021. Fortis has grown through acquisition from one small stress delicate label printing firm in Virginia Seashore to a nationwide multi-product packaging producer with over 1,300 workers throughout twenty-two vegetation.
Different lively non-public fairness gamers within the label section embrace Incline Fairness with platform firm NovaVision, Quad-C Administration with Catapult Print and Packaging, Dunes Level Capital with Premium Label & Packaging, Sole Supply Capital with Peak Applied sciences, Genstar Capital with Brook + Whittle, Heartwood Companions with All American Label & Packaging, Morgan Stanley Capital with AWT Labels & Packaging, Sole Supply Capital with I.D. Photos, and Ares Administration with Useful resource Label Group. And that’s simply the listing of PE-backed platforms lively within the label section which have introduced transactions within the first 9 months of 2022!
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* Graphic Arts Advisors, writer of The Goal Report, served as unique advisors to Millennium Advertising and marketing Options on this transaction.
View The Target Report online, complete with deal logs and source links for September 2022
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