CJK Group, Inc. announced on May 11, 2019, that it has closed on an agreement to acquire the assets of the Dexter, Michigan–based book printer, Thomson-Shore, Inc.
Thomson-Shore filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 25, 2019 with the intent to sell its assets quickly under the guidance of the bankruptcy court as opposed to restructuring or liquidating the company. CJK Group CEO, Chris Kurtzman, stepped forward and offered debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing that allowed the company to continue operating throughout the bankruptcy process and ultimately positioned CJK Group as the preferred bidder for Thomson-Shore’s assets.
On April 29, 2019, with no other bidders coming forward, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Eastern District of Michigan awarded the assets of Thomson-Shore Inc. to CJK Group, Inc. With the acquisition of Thomson-Shore complete, this is the third Michigan-based printer acquired by CJK Group. Early in 2017, Sheridan Books, Inc. of Chelsea, MI was acquired as a part of the overall purchase of The Sheridan Group; more recently, in October 2018, the assets of Grand Rapids, MI printer Dickinson Press were secured from Blackford Capital. This latest asset acquisition further expands CJK Group’s book printing capabilities and capacity.
With three manufacturing sites with very similar capabilities located so close together, it is necessary to consolidate operations to achieve efficiencies that ensure the viability of the overall CJK Group organization. Going forward, the Thomson-Shore assets, employees, and facility will be aligned under the Sheridan brand. Most of the Dexter operations and equipment will be transferred to Sheridan’s Chelsea, MI facility, where a 25,000–square foot expansion begun last fall will help the consolidation efforts. Originally slated for warehouse and storage, the expansion in Chelsea is being converted to accommodate production operations, and ultimately the Dexter site will operate as a satellite warehouse for the Chelsea facility. The balance of equipment not relocating to Chelsea will move to Sheridan’s Grand Rapids, MI location or to CJK Group’s Bang Printing facility in Brainerd, MN.
Chris Kurtzman states, “This is a challenging time for our industry. The addition of the Thomson-Shore equipment and the experienced employees to run it will help create capacity within our organization, and ultimately put the companies of CJK Group in a better position to help book publishers produce quality materials in a timely manner.”