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Graphic Arts Advisors Announces Acquisition of Commonwealth Mailing by McClung Companies

McClung Companies, Waynesboro, VA-based firm providing printing, marketing and digital services, has acquired full-service mailing company Commonwealth Mailing Systems, LLC, Richmond, VA. Graphic Arts Advisors, LLC (GAA), Mountain Lakes, NJ, a strategic financial advisory and consulting firm devoted exclusively to all sectors of the graphic communications industry, represented Commonwealth Mailing in the sale, with GAA Director Mitch Evans, serving as lead advisor and GAA Managing Director Mark Hahn providing support.

“This transaction underscores an industry trend in which commercial printers are seeking to buy mailing services companies, not only to acquire the customer base but also to expand their services roster with mailing to provide customers with a more comprehensive solution for their print and marketing needs,” noted GAA’s Hahn.

In seeking an exit strategy from ownership of Commonwealth, Michael Muldowney, now principal of Muldowney & Associates, hoped to find a buyer who would provide continued employment for his staff of 25 and uninterrupted service to his client base. He also knew that Commonwealth had grown to the point that it needed a larger organization with more business infrastructure to support it.

“In helping to guide me through the process, GAA identified McClung Companies as a suitable potential buyer,” recalled Muldowney. “They were a successful company with a sales force, management team, human resources, and other infrastructure that would help bring Commonwealth to the next level. Our company also needed capital investment and McClung was able to provide that.”

“While Michael would have been open to a tuck-in sale if no other agreements arose, he was very pleased with the fact that McClung would continue operations in Commonwealth’s existing Richmond facility and retain its employees, both of which made for a very smooth transition,” said GAA’s Evans.

In addition to growing organically, McClung has relied heavily on acquisition as a growth strategy, having acquired 11 companies over the past 30 years. Through the acquisition of Commonwealth, McClung achieved its goals of significantly expanding its mailing services, gaining a staff with expertise in mailing operations, and expanding the company’s client base.

“We had provided some mailing services out of our printing facility, but only a small percentage of what Commonwealth offers. Diversifying our mailing services more fully enables us to provide a deeper level of service to our client base,” said Adam Monk, President of McClung Companies. “The acquisition also helped us strengthen our position in the Richmond market. We had some clients there, but they were on the fringe of our core service area. Now we’re in a prime position to grow our business with them.”

In bringing Commonwealth Mailing Systems to his attention as a potential acquisition, Monk credits GAA with “identifying and unveiling an opportunity I would have been otherwise unaware of.”

“Mitch and Mark did a great job of advocating for me during the sale process, negotiating in a way that ultimately resulted in a win-win for both parties,” said Muldowney.

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