RR Donnelley Splitting into Three Public Companies
The move will provide each business with its own capital and strategic structure in an effort to drive faster growth.
RR Donnelley announced this week that it intends to split itself into three publicly traded companies—a process that has gained steam in the media market as companies that previously combined ancillary businesses with their core "traditional" media have started to spin off the components to try and unlock more value.
RR Donnelley plans to separate into a financial communications services business, a custom marketing communications operation and a printing services company.
The custom marketing communications company will be the largest, which under RR Donnelley's current structure accounted for 12-month net sales of $7 billion. The traditional printing services operation made $3.5 million in revenue and the financial communications business brought in $1 billion in the last year.
Like most other printers over the last five years, RR Donnelley had been aggressively diversifying its services into other markets to bolster its more traditional print business.
Printers have already gone through significant consolidation and have been buying up or partnering with ancillary services, like digital magazine producers, e-commerce solutions and the like, to drive top-line growth.
Among RR Donnelley's more recent acquisitions were digital replica producer LibreDigital and paywall provider Press+ in 2011. The company bought Bowne Financial in 2010 and EDGAR Online in 2012. Those two formed the foundation for the financial communications business.
Not all of RR Donnelley's acquisitions were from new markets—the company spent $620 million on Chicago-based printer Consolidated Graphics in late 2013 and beat out Quad/Graphics to acquire book manufacturer Courier Corp. earlier this year.
The theory goes that by separating the three units, they'll be able to focus on their own unique strategies and independently execute on them.
"We see significant opportunity to unlock value by allowing these three businesses to pursue their own strategies and invest according to the unique dynamics of their respective industries," says RR Donnelley president and CEO Thomas J. Quinlan III in a statement. "Each company will have the strategic focus, management resources and capital structure to enable it to strengthen its market position and pursue its growth opportunities, enhancing long-term value for stakeholders."
Crain's Chicago Business reports that RR Donnelley may be separating the units for an easier path to divestment. Of particular interest would be the financial and marketing communication segments. Decoupling the higher growth businesses from the traditional printing operation makes them more convenient targets, says the report.
The spinoffs are expected to be completed by the end of 2016 and existing RR Donnelley shareholders will end up owning shares in all three companies. Management teams and branding are still being developed, the company says.