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Stationers in Turmoil – February 2024 M&A Activity

The Target Report Stationers in Turmoil - Feb 2024 M&A Activity

The Stationers across the country are up in arms! Shock waves hit this specialty corner of the printing industry on Valentine's Day, certainly ironic timing for printers and print distributors that specialize in messages beautifully printed on beautiful paper. Workers at the Crane Stationery division of Mohawk Fine Papers were notified the day before Valentine’s Day that they were laid off effective immediately. Social media buzzed among the stationery cognoscenti that the employees were locked out of the company and their email was turned off. Remote workers received the same message via a FedEx letter. The Crane website went offline, except for the cryptic message “We are Taking a Moment to Reflect” and a bizarre quote, given the circumstances, from Coco Chanel that “Fashion Changes, But Style Endures.” Orders in progress from designers and printers that rely on Crane came to a screeching halt. Customers searched, to no avail, for information about when, and if, the company might resume operations and deliver those orders. The event is a small echo of the waves of change roiling the paper industry.

The wave that was the impetus for the Crane shutdown came across the ocean from the Italian papermaker Fedrigoni, which acquired the assets of Mohawk Fine Papers. The Fedrigoni Group is a manufacturer of specialty papers, self-adhesive materials, and RFID solutions. Founded in 1888, the company was acquired by Bain Capital in 2018. Despite the holiday, there was no love in the air when Fedrigoni reached the cold-hearted decision that the Crane Stationery division was not of any interest to them going forward. No funeral notice, no proper burial, just shut it down.


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