What trends are driving printing industry consolidation? Besides the positive U.S. economy, some trends stand out as indicative of underlying shifts in the printing industry which transcend the moment.
In the commercial printing segment, the roll-up is back, with national and super-regional players consolidating their positions. Book manufacturing has seen recent waves of consolidation, with bankruptcies and plant closings representing opportunities for stronger players.
Photobooks are now big business as the bigger players in the direct-to-consumer printing space — with private equity backing — have now merged and staked out the high ground. The smaller remaining companies are likely takeover candidates.
The wide-format segment has matured and is beginning to show signs that there will be more consolidations on the way forward. The barriers to entry have been lowered and margins have compressed. This is especially the case at the lower end of the market where companies compete on price without any significant differentiation that serves a unique and well-defined vertical client segment.
Direct mail printers are going strong — that is, if they have adapted the new continuous form inkjet printing technology. The move to a white paper-based workflow is nothing less than totally transformative for huge swaths of print volume formerly produced by imprinting variable information on static pre-printed offset printed forms. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of deals involving mailing services companies.
Read more about 2019 printing industry consolidation trends.