The steady pace of acquisitions in the printing world continued this week with the announcements of CJK Group's purchase of McNaughton & Gunn and BR Printers' acquisition of of JP Graphics. Both acquisitions involved a growing operation looking to take advantage of the improvement in the American printing business due to the surge in book sales during the pandemic by buying companies whose owners were looking to retire.

The McNaughton acquisition comes less than two months after CJK's purchase of Allen Press. Based in Saline, Mich., McNaughton had been run by Julie McFarland, who co-owned the printer with her two sisters. Founded in 1975, McNaughton concentrates on short-to-medium runs, with most of its clients being midsize publishers.

With the acquisition, McNaughton will become part of CJK’s Sheridan printing operations and will be renamed Sheridan Saline. The acquisition will bring the number of Sheridan’s print locations across the country to 11.

BR Printers' acquisition of Appleton, Wisc.–based JP Graphics brings it additional offset, digital, and large-format printing capability, as well as more packaging services. The JP Graphics purchase gives BR Printers a second facility in the Appleton region as it joins its National Graphic Solutions business. “The addition of JP Graphic’s product lines, personnel, and equipment will allow us to continue to leverage our scale to offer enhanced solutions for our clients in digital print and expand to provide specialty packaging solutions,” BR Printers president and CEO Adam DeMaestri said in a statement.

The upswing in business over the pandemic came even as it wrestled with a variety of unfavorable economic trends and forces, including a supply chain crunch that resulted in shortages of everything from labor to paper. Major recent consolidations in the sector include the acquisition of LSC Communications, now called the Lakeside Book Company, by the private equity firm Atlas Holdings; Lakeside's purchase of Phoenix Color Corp. last month; and the purchase of Quad's printing plants by Bertelsmann following the closure of Quad's printing business.