Legacy Printing Companies Fade Into History – April 2017 M&A Activity

Sheridan Group is sold, Intelligencer joins with Pemcor, Kennedy Group and Resilience Capital form Lux and buy National Label, ProAmpac and Resource Label acquire, summary of equipment manufacturing deals, and more.

By Mark R. Hahn Published: May 9, 2017
Dartmouth; the name brings forth an association with history, tradition, quality, intelligence, excellence, and competitiveness. In the case of Dartmouth Printing, the association is more than a commercial operation borrowing the name to impart those qualities to its brand; the printing company was originally established as Dartmouth Press in 1793 as the in-plant printing operation for the college that bears the same name. Fifty years later, in 1843, Dartmouth College spun off the printing operation as an independent printing company.

According to company legend, the printing company employed several famous alumni of the college, including Nelson Rockefeller who worked as a typesetter while attending Dartmouth and later became governor of New York and a US Vice President. Many years before, Daniel Webster, the famous attorney, politician and orator, reportedly worked as a “printer’s devil” at the printing company before he graduated from Dartmouth in 1801. Webster eventually served in the House of Representatives, in the Senate, and as US Secretary of State. Webster not only negotiated the final settled line between the US and Canada, but also famously (and fictionally) defended a New Hampshire farmer who had sold his soul to the devil.

Dartmouth Printing is now part of the CJK Group, which recently acquired The Sheridan Group, and which itself had acquired Dartmouth Printing in 1998. The CJK Group has grown through acquisitions from its roots as Bang Printing in Brainerd, Minnesota, and began its roll-up acquisition strategy in 2013 with the asset purchase of Hess Printing in a bankruptcy 363 sale (see The Target Report – May 2013). Bang subsequently acquired book printers Victor Graphics in Baltimore, Maryland and most recently Sentinel Printing in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Bang also has a Los Angeles location, marketed as Sinclair Printing. The common thread running through each of the CJK Group acquisitions is that each company is strongly anchored in book printing, along with expertise in publications and catalogs, and this latest acquisition is right in line with that strategy.

Beginning with its relationship with the college and including its inclusion with CJK‘s acquisition of Sheridan, the former college print shop is now with its ninth owner. It has been reported that the Dartmouth name is being retired and that the New Hampshire location will be flying the Sheridan brand name flag and no longer carry the name of the venerable college with the ivy league heritage.

No far from Sheridan’s home base in southeast Pennsylvania, another legacy company in the printing industry, Intelligencer Printing, has been acquired by newly-formed Intellicor Communications, a roll-up that also includes Pemcor Printing, also located in Pennsylvania and AE Litho, a South-Jersey commercial printing and fulfillment operation. Intelligencer Printing is one year younger than Dartmouth Printing, having been established in 1794 as the printing operation for the Lancaster Journal and until this sale has been owned by successor companies to the original newspaper publisher. It’s not clear yet if the historical name will live on as a division of Intellicor or be retired to the dustbin of printing company names, this one having survived longer than most.
more at:  http://whattheythink.com/articles/85280-legacy-printing-companies-fade-history-april-2017-m-activity/

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