Quad/Graphics announced this week it’s buying Brown Printing from parent company Gruner + Jahr for $100 million. The deal expands Quad’s magazine and catalog printing business.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2014, and will be accretive to earnings, the company says. Funding will come from a combination of cash on hand and a revolving credit facility.

Brown’s projected 2014 revenues are $350 million, and Quad says the purchase price is less than 4-times adjusted EBITDA.

"This acquisition will enhance the many ways we help publishers and marketers drive top-line revenues while better controlling their overall total cost of product and distribution," says Joel Quadracci, Quad/Graphics’ chairman, president and CEO, in a statement. "With print as our foundation, we will continue to find innovative ways to connect and integrate print with other media channels to increase reach, response and return on investment."

Standard & Poor’s isn’t so impressed with the deal. The ratings service downgraded Quad’s credit rating to a "BB-" from a "BB" because the acquisition edges Quad past the 3x leverage multiple to 3.2x.

Also, S&P is spooked by Quad’s 4.5 percent revenue slide in 2013, along with its reliance on print-based revenues which are still 90 percent of total—prompting a financial risk profile adjustment from "intermediate" to "significant."

 

 

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