printing

EOM Stories

The Dingley Press Acquired By The Sheridan Group

Overview

The Dingley Press, Inc. (Lisbon, Maine) is the leading printer of specialized off-size catalogs in the United States. Dingley utilizes short cutoff high-speed presses, which create significant paper and postage cost savings compared to more traditional size catalogs.

Bigelow Assignment

For over ten years, Bigelow advised Dingley on corporate strategy and capital allocation in support of building shareholder value. Bigelow was tasked to provide transaction leadership in harvesting shareholder value, but under severe constraints.

Challenges

Dingley shareholders would only contemplate a transaction that put its customers first, satisfied ongoing capital reinvestment requirements, and kept management in their current roles. The printing business is generally dominated by a few large diversified global printers (low valuation parameters), who would not likely provide compelling solutions to Dingley’s cultural objectives. Even with exceptional profitability compared to the industry, Dingley required significant capital expenditures to expand capacity, making partnering with a stand-alone financial partner less attractive.

“As Advisors go, I suspect that these guys are unusual. Their passion for their clients is impressive. Bigelow always had my best interests at heart and they will be friends of mine forever.” Chris Pierce, President The Dingley Press, Inc.
printing paper
“80% of Bigelow’s value in this transaction came from their years of compelling us to think and act like investors – to build a strong business – not just be managers” Eric Lane, Vice President of Finance The Dingley Press, Inc.

Outcome

Bigelow led conversations with strategic and financial investors over a number of years while the Company remained committed to its strict business plan. Dingley’s patience for a special investor paid off. The Sheridan Group (Hunt Valley, Maryland), is a holding company comprised of several prominent specialty niche printing and publishing companies. It utilizes a decentralized management structure, which provides the resources of a large company, while maintaining a high level of service and flexibility through its smaller operating companies. The Sheridan Group’s successful recapitalization by Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. and Jefferies Capital Partners provided fresh capital and impetus for a large transaction.

The acquisition of Dingley by The Sheridan Group satisfied all the shareholders objectives including providing Dingley employees with greater financial stability and increased employment opportunities; greater access to growth capital; continuity of management in an autonomous unit; and shareholder liquidity plus partial reinvestment, resulting in Dingley shareholders becoming significant shareholders in Sheridan.