Why more label businesses are being sold

By Rock LaManna | May 1, 2014

A look at four reasons why M&A activity in the label business is hot.

As the economy continues its slow but steady improvement, you’re going to see more and more owners of label companies put their businesses up for sale. This isn’t just a knee-jerk reaction to economic good times, however. A number of factors are contributing to the increased activity in the marketplace. Here are a few of the crucial ones:

1. Owners are feeling confident.  Since 2008, the economy as a whole has moved with trepidation. A lot of big players have been on the hunt for qualified sellers, but owners have been reluctant to make a move – a recession will create that effect.

Some owners have been cautious since 2008, and you can’t blame them. But the owners running successful companies are realizing that the buyers waiting on the sidelines are eager for growth, and they have capital to burn. They’re realizing that it’s time to come out from hiding and test the market.

2. Building their own retirement vision. It’s critical that owners develop a solid vision for what their retirement life will be like. Many owners are fearful of giving up their businesses, as these companies are part of their identities.  What will they do with all their newfound spare time?

The smart owners are starting to realize that their retirement doesn’t have to be spent on a golf course or in an easy chair.  Today’s owners are starting to think – and plan – about their future. They’re establishing their own vision for what they want to do.  And once they see that life can go on without their company, they’re more willing to let go of the reins.

3. The M&A process is changing. It’s the information age, right? And more business owners are self-educating on the entire merger and acquisitions procedures. And they don’t always like what they see with traditional M&A intermediaries.

Owners want a package that delivers a win-win outcome, and they want one that is priced fairly. One of the biggest shifts I’ve seen is an increased focus on the customer. A Wall Street approach to a Main Street client just won’t cut it anymore.

4. Technology is bringing everyone closer together. We know the world of information is at our fingertips. But we’re also seeing the benefits of improved international communication. New relationships are being formed every second, and markets are expanding beyond their borders. With this chance to grow and expand, businesses are thinking international more than ever before.

Do these trends mean you should hang out the “For Sale” sign? Absolutely not. Any move you make must be based on a number of internal financial metrics and your personal growth plans – retirement or otherwise. However, if you’re ready to roll, the marketplace is hot, and I believe it will only get hotter.

Rock LaManna helps printing owners and CEOs use their company financials to prioritize and choose the proper strategic path. He is President and CEO of the LaManna Alliance, and provides guidance on how to grow a printing business, merge with a synergistic partner, make a strategic acquisition, or create a succession plan. Rock can be reached by email at