With the demand for printed books shrinking, a consolidation in the manufacturing segment has been expected and now two of the country’s best known independent printers have announced a merger. Edwards Brothers and Malloy Inc., both based in Ann Arbor, have combined to create Edwards Brothers Malloy. The new company, with total sales of $115 million, will be led by Edwards Brothers president and CEO John Edwards with Bill Upton, president of Malloy, becoming v-p of operations, and Joe Upton, v-p of sales and marketing at Malloy, taking over that same role with Edwards Brothers Malloy.

Edwards Brothers Malloy will have three offset facilities—Edwards Brothers’ plants in Ann Arbor, and Lillington, N.C. and Malloy’s operation in Ann Arbor—along with 11 digital print plants in the U. S. Canada, and the U. K. The combination will allow the new company to offer a broader array of services to publishers. “We are no longer simply a book manufacturer—though we are still good at making books—we are a supply chain manager and an inventory management and delivery company. We can save publishers a lot of expense and time being a trusted supplier with full responsibility for their print orders. We’ll make sure the publisher never misses a sale, never has too many books sitting in a warehouse, and never has to worry about the quantity of their last reprint,” said John Edwards.

Edwards Brothers is best known for its Global Print Solutions distributed print partnership that allows publishers to print and distribute books with one order, one file, and one invoice around the world. Malloy has been focused on creating web-based service tools that allow customers to more easily manage their work at Malloy. Malloy also has a storage and fulfillment operation that serves over 100 mostly small publishers. "Together we offer a better value proposition," John Edwards said. He noted that the combined company will be able to fill the needs of publishers no matter how small the print run or where the publisher wants the book manufactured. "We can provide what publishers need when they need it," John Edwards said.

The focus of the new company will be on pursuing growth opportunities. To that end their current sales and customer services teams will remain largely intact, although there will be a few cuts on the sales side. More savings will come from combining corporate functions. Both Bill Upton and Edwards noted that they have relatively few common customers, which they believe will lead to new business as their respective customers become familiar with the capabilities of the other company. The men did not put a timetable on how long the integration will take. "We want to get it right," Bill Upton said.