RR Donnelley & Sons Co. announced today an agreement to acquire Perry Judd’s Holdings Incorporated, a privately held magazine and catalog printer, for $176 million. Of that sum, $47 million will go toward the purchase of Perry Judd’s common stock and $129 million will account for the Waterloo, Wisc.-company’s outstanding debt.
The announcement comes just weeks after RR Donnelley’s move to acquire Banta Corp., one of the nation’s top magazine and book printers.
“Perry Judd’s is an exceptional fit with RR Donnelley,” says Mark A. Angelson, RR Donnelley’s CEO. “Increasing our flexibility with the addition of Perry Judd’s respected capabilities will allow us better to serve both organizations’ customers and will create immediate cross-selling synergies as we leverage our leading premedia, logistics, direct mail and other production and service resources.”
The acquisition was met with mixed reactions throughout the industry.
“RRD’s acquisition of Judd’s—and let’s not forget Banta—may be good for the business end of printing, but it is not good for the buying public in the end,” says Bob Sacks, industry analyst and president of The Precision Media Group. “All this consolidation drastically reduces competition. Competition is necessary for vibrancy. How do you think we came so far, so fast in CTP and other digital workflow initiatives? It was the competition between corporations that spearheaded the speed of the changes,” says Sacks.
“… As usual, when it comes to mega-businesses, I think this is good news for the few second-tier players left, who can be more nimble and pick up the low-hanging fruit that the big guys let fall to the press room floor,” he adds.
Mark Michelson, editor-in-chief of Printing Impressions magazine, which covers the graphic arts industry and is a sister publication of Publishing Executive, says the acquisition marks a strategic shift in focus by RR Donnelley.