Continuing its penchant for acquisitions, a local commercial printer has struck its latest deal in Hampton Roads.
Henrico-based Worth Higgins & Associates recently purchased Taylored Printing, a 29-year-old commercial printer in Yorktown. The deal closed in early September and adds nine employees to the Worth Higgins staff, bringing its total headcount to 175.
Taylored’s Yorktown facility continues to operate under the Taylored Printing flag, with the tagline, “A division of Worth Higgins & Associates.”
Benny Bowman, Worth Higgins’ president and COO, said the deal came about as Taylored’s president and GM was preparing to step away from the company.
“Easley Johnson, who was the general manager there, and I have known each other for a very long time, and it was time for them to look at an exit strategy,” Bowman said.
“We originally started printing their conventional print, and they continued to print their own digital printing. It was kind of a dating period, if you will, to see how we would mesh. And as it turned out, they’re a perfect fit,” he said.
Bowman declined to discuss terms of the deal but described it as an asset purchase. He said the addition of Taylored is expected to bring an influx of $2 million to Worth Higgins’ annual revenue, which he said currently exceeds $30 million.
The deal came two years after Worth Higgins’ most recent acquisition in September 2019, when it picked up Centric Communications in Norfolk. But COVID-19’s impacts months later resulted in that addition being short-lived, Bowman said.
“Six months later, we’re in the middle of the pandemic, and unfortunately we had to close that facility, because it just was not practical and we didn’t have enough volume to justify it,” he said.
“It was a quick turn of events. There was like 11 employees there, we hired all 11, and then we closed it down very soon after COVID started, because our work overall in 2020 declined and we just had to cut costs.”
Additional layoffs within the company followed, Bowman said, but eventually its previous business volume returned.
“The good news is that, as of about February of 2021, the workload came rushing back, and we are at 2019 levels currently,” he said. “We may exceed 2019 sales for the year, even with an abysmal January.”
Bowman added, “The acquisition of Taylored has been great. The employees have been quick to adjust, and their customer base has been very receptive.”
Headquartered at 8770 Park Central Drive, in the Park Central business park off East Parham Road, Worth Higgins touts itself as the largest sheet-fed commercial printer in Virginia, with services that include conventional print, digital printing, letterpress printing and promotional products.
Founded in 1970, the company operates under an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP, in which its employees share ownership interest in the company through shares of its stock.
Pre-pandemic, the company had secured a string of acquisitions, including local peers Signs Unlimited and Stern’s Printing and Engraving Co., both in 2017. The following year, it sold its Page Stationery division to a local buyer. The company’s first acquisition, Vienna-based Billet Printing, was completed in 2009.