Present M&A Market Conditions For Commercial Printers

By Tom Cobery
In June 24, 2014

Although there are still some distressed sales in the marketplace, these transactions are becoming fewer and fewer. It appears that the market has bottomed out and we are now seeing a different attitude from prospective acquisition candidates. The majority no longer have a dire need to sell. They are not running scared and can take time to determine if the prospective offer is realistic and meets their needs. They have weathered the storms of the prior years and are survivors.

What I am seeing now is that the owners of commercial printers with sales less than $10mm, which represent a significant number of commercial printers, are trying to decide if they can compete in this marketplace. There has been a fair amount of consolidation and a decline in market size from $101 billion in 2000 to approximately $80 billion in 2013. It has become increasingly difficult for companies to grow. A few growth strategies are acquisitions, investments in new technology, and/or investments in improving efficiencies. All of this takes capital. Owners are asking themselves, do I want to take the risk?

Companies that survived the past years are now making money, but a far cry from days before the downturn in the economy and a shrinking market due to technology. This gives owners time to consider prospective offerings.

With that in mind, offers have improved, and represent a more realistic approach for both the seller and the buyer. The offers are more win/win and not one sided.

If you want to chat, give me a call at 201-523-6326 or e-mail me at

Tom Cobery

Dealing with the day-to-day needs of running a busy printing operation often leaves company leaders little time to plan for the future of their enterprises on their own. Tom works with chief executive officers and senior management executives in the Tag and Label Industry to develop growth opportunities through strategic transactions, new markets, or new service opportunities. Available for consulting on individual projects, he can also be engaged to serve as an Advisory Partner, helping executives guide their company into the future, serving as an impartial sounding board for ideas, and working with them to set the right course for continued growth and greater profitability. Tom’s personal experience as a Tag and Label Industry company president and chief executive officer, plus his extensive networking with other industry executives through his volunteer leadership activities with the Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute (TLMI) give him a unique perspective on the tough issues today’s company leaders face in this specialized segment. Companies engaging Tom will find his insight and independent advice an invaluable asset in helping them achieve their growth and profitability goals. More than a consultant, Tom Cobery wants to be your trusted Advisory Partner.

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