WhatTheyThink

Articles by Mark R. Hahn

Mark Hahn is a Managing Director and Founder of Graphic Arts Advisors, a boutique strategic financial advisory and consulting firm focused exclusively on the printing, packaging and related industries. He assists company owners and management, as well as their lenders, investors and shareholders in the following areas: mergers & acquisitions, sale of business, strategic and financial advisory, capital structure & funding, financial analysis, interim & turnaround C-level management and business valuations. Mark is the author of The Target Report and is regularly published and quoted in printing industry trade and management journals. Mark can be reached at 973-588-7399 or [email protected].

Displaying 1-85 of 85 articles

The Target Report Annual Recap—August 2020 TTM M&A Activity

Published September 9, 2020

M&A activity in commercial printing dips, tuck-ins still predominate; packaging deals are driven by PE, labels lead the pack; wide format transactions pick up; and more…

Target Report Interview—Buyers are On The Move and On Track

Published August 26, 2020

Rod Bristol talks with Mark Hahn of Graphic Arts Advisors about how M&A activity is not as high as it was pre-COVID, but there is still a steady drumbeat of activity and buyers are not veering off the strategic path they had been on.

Buyers are On The Move and On Track—July 2020 M&A Activity

Published August 11, 2020

CJK Acquires Quad Book Plant, Mittera Executes on Strategy (Again), and more…

The Target Report Interview—Donuts Lead the Way in Return to Normalcy

Published July 23, 2020

Rod Bristol talks with Mark Hahn of Graphic Arts Advisors about how buyers are back in the market: after a lull, new transactions are underway. Packaging acquisitions, specifically food packaging, have led the way.

Donuts Lead the Way in Return to Normalcy  —June 2020 M&A Activity

Published July 9, 2020

Southern Champion Tray Acquires, Brook & Whittle Establishes Western Presence, and more…

The Target Report Interview—Regional Print Consolidator Builds Diverse Offerings

Published July 6, 2020

Rod Bristol talks with Mark Hahn of Graphic Arts Advisors about Graphic Village's acquisition of DMS Ink, a transaction that is representative of the “regional roll-up” trend that has been developing in the industry for the past couple of years.

Regional Print Consolidator Builds Diverse Offerings—May 2020 M&A Activity

Published June 8, 2020

Graphic Village acquires DMS ink, Brook & Whittle adds Croydon, and more…

The Target Report Interview—Alphabet Soup of Trade Association Mergers

Published May 26, 2020

Rod Bristol talks with Mark Hahn of Graphic Arts Advisors about consolidation among printing industry trade associations, culminating in the recent merger of PIA and SGIA, and with John E. Hyde of Graphic Arts Advisors about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the state of industry M&As.

Alphabet Soup of Trade Association Mergers—April 2020 M&A Activity

Published May 8, 2020

Trade Association Mergers Reach an Apex, Commercial Printing Tuck-Ins, and more…

The Target Report Interview—The Lull Before the Tempest

Published May 7, 2020

Mark Hahn of Graphic Arts Advisors is interviewed by Rod Bristol about current industry M&A trends in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdown.

The Lull Before the Tempest—March 2020 M&A Activity

Published April 6, 2020

Transactions continue apace up to mid-March, then abruptly stop. What’s next, and more…

Catching the Wave in Corrugated Cartons—February 2020 M&A Activity

Published March 9, 2020

Welch Packaging Group Stays Strategically Focused with PAX, Thomas Printworks Acquires Dynamic, GSP Adds Custom Color, and more…

The Smartest Investor Ever Exits Newspapers—January 2020 M&A Activity

Published February 7, 2020

Berkshire Hathaway Gives Up on Newspapers, Transcontinental Embarks on Retail Strategy, Graphic Village Acquires Brand Consultancy, and more…

The Penguin’s Native Tongue is Now German—December 2019 M&A Activity

Published January 7, 2020

Bertelsmann Buys Balance of Penguin Random House, Ripon is Sold, Blackstone Invests in HH Global, and more…

Commercial Printing: Consolidation or Regional Expansion? —November 2019 M&A Activity

Published December 9, 2019

Mittera acquires business assets of Fuse, Knepper purchases Dual Print & Mail, H.I.G. Capital invests in print (again), and more…

Market for Label Printing Catches Fire—October 2019 M&A Activity

Published November 8, 2019

ProMach, Fort Dearborn, Inovar, and PPC Packaging light up M&A activity, Transcontinental acquires, H.I.G. Capital goes outdoor in a big way, and more…

Behind the Scenes in Photobooks—September 2019 M&A Activity

Published October 9, 2019

RPI Enters Consumer Market, Transcontinental Transforms, Colortree Forced into Bankruptcy and more…

The Target Report Annual Recap—August 2019 M&A Activity

Published September 9, 2019

M&A activity in commercial printing continues unabated, mostly tuck-ins; packaging deals are driven by PE; newspaper and magazine publishing segment in turmoil; and more…

What’s in a Letter?—July 2019 M&A Activity

Published August 7, 2019

Monotype Imaging Goes Private, DG3 Acquires, Coloredge Merges, and more…

Print Publishing in Turmoil—June 2019 M&A Activity

Published July 8, 2019

Justice Department Blocks Quad, Condé Nast Sheds W, Colortree Closes and more…

Sports Illustrated Print Edition Heads to Hospice—May 2019 M&A Activity

Published June 10, 2019

Meredith sells off Sports Illustrated branding rights, Welch Packaging stays focused, and more…

The De-Evolution of  Cenveo—April 2019 M&A Activity

Published May 8, 2019

Cenveo spins out more assets, Knepper acquires, MSP converges, and more…

CJK Group Opens Next Chapter with Loan-to-Own Strategy—March 2019 M&A Activity

Published April 8, 2019

Thomson-Shore under the Gavel, Salem One and Envision3 Acquire Mailing Services, and more…

Platinum Equity Likes Print—February 2019 M&A Activity

Published March 8, 2019

Multi-Color Corporation taken private, McCormick Armstrong joins list of defunct web offset printers, trade-only printers trade hands, and more…

BCC Solidifies Position in Mail Preparation Software—January 2019 M&A Activity

Published February 8, 2019

Satori Software acquired by BCC, Diversified Labeling Solutions sells out to Taiwan-based TSC, McClung acquires Commonwealth, Oliver buys DISC, and more…

Consolidation in Commercial Printing Rolls On—December 2018 M&A Activity

Published January 8, 2019

Mittera acquires Henry Wurst, H.I.G. Capital invests in print, GSB Digital expands in NYC, Alliance adds another franchise system, and more…

The Waning Fortunes of the Time Inc. Magazines—November 2018 M&A Activity

Published December 7, 2018

Meredith sells off iconic American magazine titles, Quad/Graphics acquires Periscope, PE continues love affair with labels, and more…

A Reversal of Fortune: Paper Mills Gain Leverage—October 2018 M&A Activity

Published November 8, 2018

New Dragon acquires and opens shuttered paper mill, CJK rolls on in the book segment, Quad takes on LSC Communications, and more…

Cimpress: Getting Bigger by Staying Small—September 2018 M&A Activity

Published October 8, 2018

BuildASign achieves high valuation in strategic sale to Cimpress, Snapfish acquires CafePress at bargain price, regional serial acquirers active in commercial printing segment, and more…

It’s Back to School Time—August 2018 M&A Activity

Published September 10, 2018

M&A activity in commercial printing, driven by pressure to consolidate, remains robust; packaging is still the hot topic, wide format falters (just a bit), and more…

If You Can’t Beat ’Em, Join ’Em – July 2018 M&A Activity

Published August 8, 2018

LSC Communications jettisons major European printing asset, acquires digital content logistics firm MAZ, label segment is very active, and more…

What Did Not Happen – June 2018 M&A Activity

Published July 9, 2018

Edwards Brothers Malloy shuts down as others consolidate book printing, transactional activity at five-year low, other major closures announced…

Corrugated Gets Glam—May 2018 M&A Activity

Published June 8, 2018

DS Smith builds out US platform in corrugated, Traxium acquires two, LSC buys and sells, Deluxe automates soft skill, and more.

Getting Flexible in Your Middle Years – April 2018 M&A Activity

Published May 8, 2018

Transcontinental TC closes transformative transactions, ProAmpac buys, commercial printers actively acquire; Herbie finally retires, and more.

Press Onward!—March 2018 M&A Activity

Published April 9, 2018

German and American rivals agree to merge, Contiweb spun off, Sun and Siegwerk acquire specialty inks, Autajon strengthens US presence, and more.

Turning a Big Ship – Quad/Graphics Acquires Ivie - February 2018 M&A Activity

Published March 9, 2018

Quad/Graphics transforms with acquisition of Ivie, Graphic Village buys competitor Multi-Craft, Taylor builds on display platform, Platinum Equity acquires WS Packaging; and more.

Impact XM Adds Gamification to Exhibits & Events - January 2018 M&A Activity

Published February 8, 2018

AGI Partners builds marketing services platform; Windsor files, Xerox turns Japanese (with a nod to the Vapors’ 1980 hit song); and more…

Non-Bankruptcy Debt Restructuring in the Printing Industry

Published February 1, 2018

What options are available for financially troubled print businesses? John Hyde, the leading expert in M&A involving financially troubled printing companies, talks with Graphic Arts Advisors about how there are more choices than ever, including Non-Bankruptcy Debt Restructuring.

Will the Real Crane Please Stand Up? – December 2017 M&A Activity

Published January 9, 2018

Crane Currency acquired; IWCO teams up with ModusLink Global Solutions; OSG active in transactional segment; Fort Dearborn acquires NCL; and more…

Flexible Packaging is Hot – November 2017 M&A Activity

Published December 11, 2017

TC Transcontinental executes long term strategy in flexible packaging, Graphic Packaging acquires again; Kingery Printing acquires United Graphics; and more…

Transactional Print – Fertile Ground for Consolidation – October 2017 M&A Activity

Published November 9, 2017

OSG Billing Services, now owned by PE firm Aquiline Capital, adds first bolt-on with acquisition of Microdynamics, label printer Brook & Whittle acquired in secondary buyout, Vomela buys another commercial printer; and more…

Print Supply Chain Consolidation – September 2017 M&A Activity

Published October 9, 2017

Barry-Wehmiller consolidates ancillary print equipment sector in a robust deal environment for all things print; makers of equipment, manufacturers of materials and distributors of supplies are in demand; a look-back at the past year; and more

Williams Lea Tag is on the Move – August 2017 M&A Activity

Published September 11, 2017

Williams Lea Tag is carved out from DHL; Mittera buys Earthcolor; Stevens Group grows with CL Graphics acquisition; Oliver begins platform build-out; and more…

Transformation and Rebirth – July 2017 M&A Activity

Published August 9, 2017

July 2017 – Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries. LSC Communications rebuilds diversified publication services; Quark transforms; DG3 acquires UK printer Leycol; Multi-Color goes all-in with deal for Constantia Labels; and more…

Family-Owned Newspapers Roll It Up – June 2017 M&A Activity

Published July 11, 2017

Hearst, Gatehouse, Lee, Ogden, Phillips and Adams stir up the local newspaper business; Sandy Alexander acquires Designers’ Press; tuck-ins abound and more in the June 2017 – Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries.

Small Printers are Big Business – May 2017 M&A Activity

Published June 12, 2017

Global franchise system owner of Mail Boxes Etc. acquires US-based printing franchise system PostNet, Standard buys Epic, ICV Partners moves upstream with LeadingResponse, and more.

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

Published May 9, 2017

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.

View into the Future of Printing Process Control - March 2017 M&A Activity

Published April 10, 2017

Danaher adds Advanced Vision Technology to Pantone and X-Rite platform, Ripon acquires Maquoketa, Vomela goes commercial, private equity backs outsourcing packaging to China, and more

Transformation of a Legacy Print Business – February 2017 M&A Activity

Published March 8, 2017

Deluxe goes mobile as strategic plan unfolds, VC fund invests in photo book printer (and brilliant marketer of print services) Chatbooks, the market for retail display and point-of-purchase printers heats up as Orora continues acquisition spree, and more…

WestRock Affirms Commitment to Paper – January 2017 M&A Activity

Published February 13, 2017

one-two punch. noun. A combination of two blows delivered in rapid succession in boxing, especially a left lead followed by a right cross. Informal: an especially forceful or effective combination or sequence of two things…

They’re Back… (Buyers of Commercial Printers) – December 2016 M&A Activity

Published January 10, 2017

Australian packaging company Orora stakes out US position in retail display, acquiring The Register Group, ICV Partners buys out SG360° ESOP, Cimpress acquires National Pen, Moore DM buys PS/PS Digital and more.

“Just One Word: Plastics” – November 2016 M&A Activity

Published December 7, 2016

Multi Packaging Solutions in holiday mood, buys gift card printer, OneTouchPoint has the right touch for acquisitions, Novolex bags another one, Fort Dearborn on a roll and more.

Moving Pieces Around on the PE Chessboard – October 2016 M&A Activity

Published November 9, 2016

Billionaire Pritzker brothers capture ProAmpac, buy Vitex next day, Capital Partners win Outlook Group in secondary buyout, IBS Direct merges with Maestro Media Print Solutions and more.

Managed Print Services Take Center Stage – September 2016 M&A Activity

Published October 11, 2016

HP commits to paper-based future, private equity invests in managed print services, ink manufacturers consolidate, Hibbert acquires RedShark, Deluxe promotes promotional products, and more.

Private Equity LOVES Labels – August 2016 M&A Activity

Published September 13, 2016

Massive global private equity funds move aggressively into the label and related printing segments, marketing services provider Firespring acquires Jacob North and does good, Supremex rolls up US envelope production, the newspaper chess game goes on and more.

How Do You Print a Golf Ball? – July 2016 M&A Activity

Published August 9, 2016

Hi-tech inkjet company Xaar makes inroads into US industrial printing market with acquisition of pad printing company, 4over acquires another trade printer, Nationwide Argosy divests last operating company, newspapers consolidate, corrugated segment is active and more.

Dotcom Survivor Retains Print – June 2016 M&A Activity

Published July 14, 2016

Dot-com era company, Internet Brands, with backing from KKR, invests in Fodor’s travel guides and commits to maintain print editions, Transcontinental builds flexible packaging division with third US acquisition, Weyerhaeuser completes next step of exit from paper business, ALJ Regional bolts Color Optics onto portfolio company Phoenix Color and more.

Sticky Discipline for the Label Business – May 2016 M&A Activity

Published June 13, 2016

CCL Industries’ establishes international niche positions acquiring label printers at a steady pace, Oliver Printing transitions to carton printing and forms platform company for Pfingsten, M&A activity resumes in commercial printing segment, Dex Media files “Chapter 33”, and more.

A Puzzling Future for Specialty Magazines – April 2016 M&A Activity

Published May 11, 2016

April 2016 – Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries

Justice Department Saves Newspapers (really?)

Published April 12, 2016

March 2016 – Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries

Cold Front Moves In – February 2016 M&A Activity

Published March 10, 2016

February 2016 – Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries.

POP! Retail Display Proves Attractive – January 2016 M&A Activity

Published February 9, 2016

January 2016 – Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries

Gestalting the Printing Industry - 2016 Mergers and Acquisitions Forecast

Published January 13, 2016

December 2015 – Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries

Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’ - November 2015 M&A Activity

Published December 10, 2015

Saugatuck Capital bolts Plymouth Printing onto Pharmaceutic Litho & Label, Rondo-Pak adds Contemporary Graphics to US pharma printing platform, Firespring evolves into MSP, Circle Graphics corrals grand format printer Imagic, the Mittera Group continues traditional printing rollup.

The Box is in Demand - October 2015 Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries

Published November 9, 2015

The Box is in – paperboard, corrugated, decorated, foil-stamped, bar-coded, laminated, textured, embossed, pearlized, diecut, folded, glued, large and small. Folks in the business of printing love the box. Unlike the box’s troubled cousin, commercial printing, the box is reordered on a regular basis and is far less subject to disruption by online internet-based technologies.

Turmoil in the Garden of Meredith - September 2015 M&A Activity

Published October 8, 2015

September 2015 –Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries

Newspaper Publishers Enter the Eye of the Storm - August 2015 M&A Activity

Published September 10, 2015

August 2015 –Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries

EFI Walks the Digital Fashion Runway - July 2015 M&A Activity

Published August 10, 2015

July 2015 –Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries.

Cloak and Dagger Inks Fight Counterfeiters – June 2015 M&A Activity

Published July 14, 2015

Analysis of June 2015 Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries

May 2015 – Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries

Published June 12, 2015

De-evolution for eBooks Platform? – May 2015 M&A Activity, includes commercial printing, packaging, newspapers, and equipment.

Catching the Falling Knife versus Personal Branding – April 2015 M&A Activity

Published May 12, 2015

April 2015 –Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries

Vistaprint Hits a Double with Global Acquisition Strategy – March 2015 M&A Activity

Published April 13, 2015

March 2015 –Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries.

Who Says Books Aren’t Pretty? – February 2015 M&A Activity

Published March 13, 2015

Books were ascendant in the printing deal space as RR Donnelley swooped down and snatched Courier Corporation right out of the arms of Courier’s suitor of choice, Quad/Graphics. Almost two and half times larger than Quad, RRD was not about to let this opportunity escape as it did last year when Quad acquired Brown Printing in a sweetheart of a deal.

End of the Line for MeadWestvaco – January 2015 M&A Activity

Published February 11, 2015

Paper and packaging industry giant MeadWestvaco appears to be at the end of its life as an independent entity. The company agreed to a merger with RockTenn to form a yet-to-be-named successor company. RockTenn’s expertise in kraft paper, corrugated cartons and retail displays will combine with MeadWestvaco’s strengths in paperboard and folding cartons. The result will be a powerful player in the increasingly global packaging industry, with over $15 billion in annual revenues.

December 2014 – Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries

Published January 13, 2015

The Darwinian process of growth, change, merger, and failure proceeded with full vigor during 2014. The 241 transactions announced during 2014 in the printing, packaging, and related industries in the US and Canada represent a 40% increase compared to the 172 transactions that we noted during all of 2013. The vibrancy of the market is consistent with the M&A activity noted across many industries over the past year

Mark Cuban and Print Shop Owners Score with Shark Tank – November 2014 M&A Activity

Published December 15, 2014

Less than a year after swimming with the sharks on the popular TV show Shark Tank in January 2014, husband-and-wife team and printing company owners, Julie and Brian Whiteman, sold their digital photobook app, GrooveBook, to Shutterfly for $14.5 million.

M&A: Still a Buyer’s Market?

Published November 26, 2014

Printing companies are experiencing a modest reprieve from the very tough market of the past several years, leading many owners to wonder, is now the time to sell?

Why are These Millennial-Generation Printers Smiling? – October 2014 M&A Activity

Published November 11, 2014

October 2014 –Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries

The Roll-Up Returns (to Commercial Printing) – September 2014 M&A Activity

Published October 7, 2014

It’s been a long downhill slide for roll-up activity in the commercial printing industry. The major players have either exited the field (Consolidated Graphics), partially disintegrated (Nationwide Argosy, né Nationwide Graphics), or struggled with their own lack of clear strategic direction (Cenveo, né Mail-Well). That void may soon be filled by regional players that are stretching beyond the boundaries of their original core operation. In contrast to those aforementioned major league teams that were fueled by shares issued in the public markets, the new draft of contenders are energized and coached by private equity funds flush with cash and the ability to borrow at very favorable rates from eager lenders.

Industry Swims Upstream - August 2014 M&A Activity

Published September 15, 2014

Streamworks acquires design and production boutique, Maidstone Capital adds EU Services to its portfolio to join with Com-Pak Services, YGS Group acquires Print Management, Performance POP buys Miramar Designs, RockTenn purchases display division from American Greetings, and more - August M&A transactions and restructurings are posted at The Target Report.

Forbes Lands the Whale – July 2014 M&A Activity

Published August 12, 2014

Forbes achieves stunning price in sale to Asian investment group, Scripps and Journal Communications merge and immediately spin off all their printed publications, commercial printer SG360° buys Lehigh Direct from Visant, and more - July 2014 –Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries

June 2014 Mergers, Acquisitions & Restructuring in the Printing, Packaging & Related Industries

Published July 8, 2014

The newest old company, Time Inc., was very busy in June. The venerable publisher of magazines, including household names such as Time, Fortune, People, and Sports Illustrated, was spun off from Time Warner, separating the aging print-centric parent from its progeny’s profitable entertainment and programming businesses.

It’s Academic – Scholarly Journals are Big Business – May 2014 M&A Activity

Published June 12, 2014

Digital content platforms attracted financial and strategic buyers last month, as increasingly sophisticated online systems drive information to centralized providers that automate the design, hosting and distribution of content.

April 2014 – Deals, Court Filings & Closures in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries

Published May 9, 2014

It was a Tale of Two Cities for sellers of printing companies in April. For some, it’s the best of times; they appear to have chosen wisely, believed in the power of the internet to transform the business of print, they saw the light and felt the hope of spring as they embarked on their journey. The market anoints these fortunate few with the ultimate reward – the high multiple.

March 2014 – Deals, Court Filings & Closures in the Printing, Packaging, Paper & Related Industries

Published April 22, 2014

The traditional divide between commercial and packaging printers continues to blur as commercial printers seek opportunities in packaging where they can apply their talents, utilize their capital equipment investments, and transition to the packaging industry.