ASG owner to buy US print giant LSC

Printweek team
Thursday, September 17, 2020

LSC Communications, the US print giant that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year, is poised to be sold to private equity group Atlas Holdings.

Deal keeps US group together
Deal keeps US group together

The troubled $3.3bn (£2.5bn) turnover business filed for Chapter 11 in the US in April. Printweek revealed shortly afterwards that it had hired investment banking firm Evercore to “explore a sale of the company or the four segments separately” under the codename “Project Libra”.

The sale to Atlas keeps the four segments, which were identified at the time as books; magazines, catalogues and logistics; office products and its Mexican printing and distribution business, as one company.

“LSC ran a robust and competitive sale process, and we are pleased to have reached this agreement with Atlas and the creditor group, which we believe represents the best path forward for LSC,” said LSC CEO Thomas Quinlan.

Subject to usual regulatory approvals, the sale is expected to complete in Q4 this year, at which point it will become a privately owned company.

“We entered into this financial restructuring process in April due to the fundamental changes in our industry and to strengthen LSC’s financial position for the future,” said Quinlan.

“Through this transaction, we will be able to move ahead with an improved balance sheet and a more sustainable capital structure, enabling LSC to continue investing in our business and building on our strong foundation as a leader in print, mailing and distribution, and office products.”

The business was formerly part of the giant RR Donnelley business, which split into three companies in 2016.

LSC's proposed mega-merger with Quad Graphics was called off last year.

Atlas Holdings has a long association with the print and paper industry, with its first investment in 2002 being in a small US paper mill. It now consists of 21 companies with combined revenues of $6bn.

Its portfolio consists of manufacturing and distribution businesses across a wide range of industries including pulp and paper and packaging, and its businesses include European packaging group AGI-Shorewood Group (ASG), which has several sites in the UK.

“Over the last two decades, our team at Atlas has developed an intimate knowledge of the printing and paper industries and established a reputation for successfully operating industrial businesses in markets experiencing structural challenges,” said Atlas co-founder and managing partner Timothy Fazio.

“We help our companies solidify their position in core markets while remaining agile in dynamic commercial environments. As such, we believe Atlas is the ideal new partner for LSC and the customers they serve.”

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