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Allegra Network Suceeeds As Business Matchmaker For Independent Printers

Press release from the issuing company

Northville, Mich., March 5, 2007 -- Allegra’s Conversion or “Matchmaker” Program, as it is often called, which matches new Allegra franchisees looking to buy an existing business with independent printers looking to sell, reached new heights in 2006. Offering independent printers a unique opportunity to sell their businesses successfully, the Conversion program’s momentum is definitely rolling in 2007, with six new franchisees year-to-date. Currently, there are 16 Conversion Print Centers open operating under the company’s Allegra Print & Imaging brand, with 25 franchisees seeking printing businesses to buy in markets such as Atlanta, Chicago and Phoenix (see sidebar). Allegra has also identified more than 700 markets ready that have potential for its Conversion Program, in addition to the more than 200 traditional Allegra Print & Imaging locations currently open across the United States and Canada. As one of the world’s largest print and graphic communications franchises with more than 600 locations, Allegra Network has led the industry consolidation trend for more than 11 years. In fact, the company has helped more than 200 independent printers of all sizes sell their businesses successfully and has completed four corporate acquisitions of its own, growing its network to $369 million in sales. Drawing upon its invaluable knowledge and the consolidating nature of the market, Allegra Network launched its Conversion Program in 2004. The program offers independent printers looking to retire, seeking a new career or those simply not wanting to update their operation to effectively compete, a creative way to sell their business. Typically these operations are business-to-business small commercial printing operations, ranging from $500,000 to $2.5 million in sales and offer digital output and traditional offset printing capabilities. Allegra Network matches a qualified new franchisee interested in purchasing a printing operation with an independent printer in that market and works with both parties to complete the sale. Allegra Network then counsels the new owner on necessary upgrades, teaches them how to manage the location and provides them with ongoing operational, marketing, technical and field support to help take their business to the next level. “This is an unbelievable way to sell your business,” commented Rich Arnold, former owner of VersaPrint in Cincinnati, Ohio. “I have been very active in the industry for more than 30 years and know there are many business owners who are ready to start the next phase of their life and sell their business, but just don’t know how. This is a simple and easy way to do it.” Arnold recently sold his business to Steve Kapuscinski, a new Allegra Print & Imaging franchisee with more than 20 years of consulting and operations management experience in the paper industry. Arnold added, “My operation was in pretty good shape, but I needed to reinvest in order to take it to the next level. With the support Steve has received from the Allegra Network team, the business has a new identity and a new, more professional image, not to mention a team of experts he can call on at any time.” In addition to a solution to selling their operations, independent printers find solace in knowing the business they have worked hard to build is now in good hands. Allegra Network Vice President of Development Darryl Buchanan explained, “The independent printers we have worked with are very excited about the quality of candidates we bring to them. Over 80% of our Conversion owners have come from the corporate world, and many of them have been former vice presidents in sales, marketing, finance, operations or IT. They have the business savvy and we have the comprehensive support programs to provide them with the tools to take their staff and businesses to the next level.” Arnold added, “Many of us printers don’t realize that if we pass on an opportunity like this, that it may not come again. We keep thinking we’ll have other chances or we’re just not ready to sell, but who knows if your big chance will come when you want, or even when you need it to.” While Allegra is actively pursuing independents who are interested in selling their business to new franchisees in many markets (see sidebar), it continues to seek new franchisees for the Conversion Program as well. With an established customer base, experienced staff, immediate cash flow and proven track record, these new Conversion franchisees enjoy distinct advantages most start-up franchises cannot provide. For more information about Allegra’s Conversion Program, contact Julie Bingham at 800.726.9050.