Quad/Graphics acquires marketing firm for $92.5 million

Fourth quarter earnings rise on tax benefit

printing press
Quad/Graphics is a global provider of print and media solutions.

Sussex-based Quad/Graphics Inc. today acquired Ivie & Associates Inc. for $92.5 million.

printing press
Quad/Graphics is a global provider of print and media solutions.

Ivie is a marketing and advertising firm with its international headquarters in Shanghai, China and its North American headquarters in Flower Mound, Texas. It is one of the Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., serving a global base of top brands. Ivie was founded by chief executive officer Warren Ivie in 1993.

Quad does not plan to retain Ivie’s China office and the 40 employees there, a spokeswoman said. It will retain the 600 North American employees of Ivie, including Warren Ivie, bringing Quad’s total employee count to about 22,000 worldwide.

The acquisition, Quad said, will allow the firm to improve process efficiency and marketing spend effectiveness for clients, while broadening scale and expertise in digital, media and creative. The combined entity will have 1,200 employees focused on content creation and marketing at more than 70 customer locations.

“This acquisition brings together two highly-respected companies with best-in-class capabilities that are highly complementary,” said Joel Quadracci, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Quad/Graphics. “Ivie is a leader in customized marketing and business process outsourcing, and Quad, together with our BlueSoHo business, is a leader in content production and workflow process optimization.”

“We share a long and trusted partnership that has resulted in Quad producing high-quality products for Ivie for many years,” Ivie said. “We are confident in the value we are creating for all our stakeholders through this business combination.”

Quad/Graphics has been diversifying its business beyond print services to offer an integrated marketing platform that offers integrated media management, content and creative production, and data analysis and insights.

The company also today reported its fourth quarter earnings.

Net income was $55.3 million, or $1.06 per share, in the fourth quarter, up from $37.5 million, or 73 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2016. Quad recorded a $42.8 million income tax benefit in the fourth quarter, compared with a $7.4 million income tax expense in the year-ago quarter.

Operating income totaled $29.2 million, down from $62.3 million in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue was $1.2 billion, flat from the fourth quarter of 2016.

“We are pleased with our fourth quarter and full-year 2017 results, which were in-line with our expectations and demonstrate continued execution of our strategic priorities to generate consistent earnings and strong, sustainable free cash flow that further strengthen our balance sheet, provide long-term shareholder value and accelerate our Quad 3.0 transformation,” Quadracci said. “We have made great progress with our transformation and will continue to leverage our strong print foundation as part of a much larger and more robust integrated marketing platform.”

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill is managing editor at BizTimes Milwaukee, where she also covers entrepreneurship and financial services. Dill joined BizTimes as a reporter in 2011, advancing to associate editor in 2013 and managing editor in 2015. Previously, she was a reporter for the Marshfield News-Herald in central Wisconsin. Dill holds a bachelor's in journalism from Marquette University. She lives in Wauwatosa with her husband, Jesse, and her dog, Tuck.