Edwards Brothers Announces Merger with Malloy in Ann Arbor Area Book Printing Deal


Edwards Brothers President John J. Edwards, seen here in a 2007 photo, runs a company that was founded 119 years ago.

Archive photo | AnnArbor.com

Two of the largest book printing companies in the Ann Arbor area are merging in a deal with major implications for the local job market and real estate industry.

Edwards Brothers Inc., a 119 years old manufacturer of small-run books headquartered in Southern State Street in Ann Arbor, announced a merger with Canton of Scio-based Malloy Inc.

Edwards Brothers, which also owns a large North Carolina printing plant and several other small businesses across the country, has approximately 400 employees at its 185,000 square foot plant in Ann Arbor. The company, one of the oldest companies in the Ann Arbor area, had sales of approximately $ 80 million in 2010.

Malloy, based like Lithography Malloy Inc. in 1960, had more than 200 employees at its 180,000 square foot factory on Jackson Road. Its heritage dates back to 1948, when Jim malloy left Edwards Brothers and started Cushing-Malloy with Bert cushing.

The new company, Edwards Brothers Malloy, which will have a combined annual turnover of around $ 115 million, is expected to maintain these three factories.

President of the Edwards Brothers John J. Edwards will become CEO of the new company. Bill upton, president of Malloy, will become vice president of operations, and Joe upton, Malloy’s vice president of sales and marketing, will fill the same role at the new company.

Edwards told AnnArbor.com the companies had been in negotiations for about six months. He said the two companies were “slightly” profitable on their own.

“We realized we had to do something different and by combining our collective strengths, we thought we were providing a better value proposition to our client,” he said. “Some of the strengths we have were their weaknesses and vice versa. And we thought that by combining together we make a much stronger company.”

Edwards said the new company had no plans for any immediate job cuts other than cutting a few redundant managerial and sales positions. Collectively, the new company has approximately 900 employees.

The deal comes during a time of turmoil for local book printers. Both companies have downsized in recent years.

Book printers face a number of challenges, including the emergence of e-books, devices that allow stores to print their own books, commodity costs, and school districts that have restricted spending in manuals.

About 12% of American adults own an e-reader in 2012, up from 8.7% in 2011 and 5.4% in 2010, according to eMarketer.com research.

Book printers are also directly affected by the loss of physical bookstores, including the liquidation last year of the Ann Arbor-based company Frontières Group Inc. and the bankruptcy of NBC Acquisition Corp.‘s Nebraska Book Co., which plans to close four local university bookstores.

Malloy produces books for “publishers of all sizes, in all segments of the publishing industry, in all parts of the United States,” according to its website.

Edwards Brothers has obtained several tax breaks from the City of Ann Arbor in recent years, including one in 2010 to offset the costs of an equipment upgrade of $ 5.48 million.

Edwards said book printers continued to face “intense price pressure” and a changing customer base.

“We’re doing more orders and they’re smaller, which makes sense. It doesn’t really scare us, but you have to do more orders to have the same sales,” Edwards said.

He said there was little overlap in the customer bases of Edwards Brothers, which has a strong presence in the digitally submitted book printing industry, and Malloy, who has had success with conversions. of electronic books.

Contact Nathan Bomey of AnnArbor.com at (734) 623-2587 or [email protected] You can also follow him on twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com newsletters.


Leave A Reply