UPDATE: Lowe-Martin acquires fellow printer Dollco

Elizabeth
Elizabeth Howell
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One nearly century-old local printer has acquired another long-standing industry stalwart in Ottawa.

Lowe-Martin Group CEO Ward Griffin.

The Lowe-Martin Group announced Thursday that it would take over Dollco Printing.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not released, but Lowe-Martin CEO Ward Griffin noted it was a significant play for the firm given it will nearly double the size of the company.

"It's a strategy of Lowe-Martin to grow through acquisition," he said in an OBJ interview.

"Dollco is obviously a company in the Ottawa market that we've known about for many years, and I've known their president for many years. I think there's a mutual respect there that is what enabled the conversation to take place."

He added that the companies see this as an Ottawa success story, with everybody remaining in the region while also becoming a bigger entity.

Dollco will become a division of the Lowe-Martin Group that specializes in publication and web printing. Dollco president Kevin Nicholds will become president of the new division, with responsibilities in marketing and business development.

The combined firms, which will employ nearly 600 people in Ottawa, will be a significant employer for the region, Mr. Griffin noted.

Their focus right now is to maintain customer service, and also to determine how best to house the newly combined firms. They currently have facilities on St. Laurent Boulevard and Carling Avenue.

Combining the companies will allow a broader range of services to their customers, and also position it in a market that is ripe for consolidation, he said.

There are around 5,000 printing firms in Canada. Although there still is a lot of business done – $8 billion annually, of which the larger Lowe-Martin has about one per cent market share – consolidation will be the continued trend for some time, he said.

"It's an industry that's mature, but it still has a tremendous amount of opportunity and a tremendous amount of demand."

Dollco co-owner Krista Nicholds was named an OBJ Forty Under 40 recipient in 2005. The family has owned the company since 1956; Dollco, which now has 260 people, was founded in 1918.

Lowe-Martin was founded in 1908 and has 320 employees, with plants in Ottawa and Mississauga.

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  • Tim Lloyd
    April 12, 2012 - 14:17

    This merging of two venerable Ottawa-owned print organizations is wonderful news. The print industry has been under attack from several angles in recent years. So this move will hopefully keep many jobs in place, and help secure the required volume of business to remain both competitive and profitable. I applaud these two large Ottawa companies for having the guts to make this move. We need a strong print industry in Ottawa, and this type of arrangement will help greatly. I wish the new organization many years of success. Sincerely, Tim Lloyd