A recent article in Printing Impressions titled, “The Urge to Merge is Still Strong,” advises, “If you own a printing business, you should be in either a selling or a buying frame of mind—even if you have no present intention of doing either.”

Writer Patrick Henry artfully sketches two scenarios: first, when principals of family-run businesses “have no further wish to stay involved, selling is the logical exit.” Second, as the demand for print continues to change and organic growth is harder to achieve, growth by acquisition is a strategic imperative.

Consequently, “The Urge to Merge is Still Strong,” and an understanding of the basics of mergers and acquisitions is “smart thinking for every owner.” Henry adds that M&A is like a surge of nervous energy that “reinvents growing companies, sunsets those at the ends of their life cycles, and helps the industry adapt as it must.”

Henry introduces two consultancies, Graphic Arts Advisors and New Direction Partners, that have been “instrumental in recent deals” and “see sustained vigor in the market for M&A transactions.” Several principals of the two firms are quoted and offer their perspectives on optimizing businesses for sale, common mistakes that sellers make, understanding the EBITDA multiple, and much else.

If you are selling or buying, “The Urge to Merge is Still Strong,” should stimulate your nerve endings. At the same time, we encourage you to talk with someone who’s walked in your shoes, like Dave Jones, director of strategic growth for Marketing & Print Division of Alliance Franchise Brands. Dave is a longtime corporate executive responsible for developing valuations, acquiring businesses, and integrating systems and cultures. He’s also in a unique position to answer your to sell or to buy question because he’s owned a printing business, sold it, and recently purchased another.