Staples/Office Depot Announce Merger

Commercial Printing & Copying

Staples announced its planned merger with Office Depot which itself recently acquired OfficeMax. The companies offer printing and copying services, both in-store and online. With their printing service offerings, the giant companies compete with thousands of small quick printers, all vying to capture the same walk-in print and copy business. As Staples continues to close stores and drive its customers to purchase office supplies online, its ability to successfully compete for copy business remains unclear.

At the opposite end of the size spectrum from Staples, KM Media Group, a collection of acquired companies competing in the general commercial segment, acquired One Source Solutions. One Source Solutions, formerly a Sir Speedy Printing franchise, will close its Newark, New Jersey location and tuck its business into KM’s Clifton, New Jersey location.

Commercial printer Allied Group in Cranston, Rhode Island acquired DES Printing. Allied has used a steady acquisition strategy, completing seven deals since 2000, to grow its business to $20 million revenue.

In Carlstadt, New Jersey, Pictorial Offset announced that it was closing after 78 years. At one time a formidable competitor in the market for high-end commercial printing, Pictorial has been unable to fully recover since the plant was flooded in 2012’s Superstorm Sandy. In a picture complicated by claims against the printer’s insurance company, the company was further challenged when its lender filed suit in December in an effort to collect an outstanding line of credit.


Private Equity firm Lindsay Goldberg created and funded Crown Paper Group as a holding company to acquire Port Townsend Holdings Company. The transaction included the Port Townsend Paper mill in Port Townsend, Washington, the Crown Packaging and Boxmaster plants in Vancouver, British Columbia, as well as two Canadian distribution centers. The Port Townsend mill produces Kraft and containerboard grades used in the company’s packaging plants.

The roll-up in the printing papers distribution segment continues. In its eighth acquisition of a regional paper merchant since 2010, Central National-Gottesman acquired Spicers Canada. Formerly owned by an Australian company, Spicers has 15 distribution and sheeting facilities throughout Canada.