James A. Russell

James A. Russell

James A. Russell is a partner in New Direction Partners (NDP), the leading provider of advisory services for printing and packaging firms seeking growth and opportunity through mergers and acquisitions. NDP assists its clients by giving them expert guidance and peace of mind at every stage of the process of buying or selling a printing or packaging company. Services include representing selling shareholders; acquisition searches; valuation; capital formation and financing; and strategic planning. NDP’s partners have participated in more than 300 mergers and acquisitions since 1979. Collectively, they possess more than 200 years of industry experience with transactions in aggregate exceeding $2 billion.
For information, email info@newdirectionpartners.com.

M&A Trends on the Way to 2021: What We Can See from Here

The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have a bearing on mergers and acquisitions among printing and packaging companies as we enter 2021. But, the virus won’t be making the deals. Smart owners will, and with realism and flexibility, the deals can be as good as any in a normal year.

Promoting Growth and Increasing Valuation with Investment in Technology

A plain truth for our commercial printing clients is that a company’s valuation is directly linked to its investment in technology. We think that investment in technology is just as crucial for producers of labels and packaging, but we wonder if the message is being heard clearly enough.

M&A Due Diligence: Let the Buyer Be Sure

Executing due diligence the right way means drilling down into every layer of the business being acquired, with no room for guesswork or assumptions.

V is for Valuation

No sale can succeed for the seller without a clear-eyed understanding of what the business is really — meaning really — worth. Here’s a primer on this essential subject.

The Anatomies of Acquisition: A Primer

It’s an appeal for help that we’ve grown accustomed to hearing at New Direction Partners: “My sales are flat. We aren’t moving in the right direction as a business. I know I should be thinking about acquiring another company — but what kind of company, and how?”

Why Selling a Business Doesn't Mean Leaving it Behind

At New Direction Partners, we often advise selling owners of printing businesses to be prepared to stay on in one role or another after the transaction closes. Because keeping a hand in the business at the new owner’s request is a given in so many deals, it’s helpful to have some idea of what the responsibility is going to entail.

Keys to Your Succession Plan

Do you, as the owner of a printing business, have a plan for no longer being the owner of that business?

Optimism Is Good; Euphoria, Not as Much

As businesspeople, we always try to base our decisions on facts, numbers and logic. But, as ordinary humans, we also operate on emotion and instinct. In the year we’ve just entered, we should have plenty of opportunity to display both kinds of behavior.

Ready, Aim, Acquire: Identifying Your M&A Target

Identifying a target for an M&A transaction is a mostly straightforward exercise. Buyers pick companies to acquire by first defining what they want the acquisition to accomplish. For sellers, finding appropriate buyers can be a bit more open-ended — but still achievable with the help of sound professional advice.

Big, Bold and Buyable

As printers continue to seek out new, profitable production methods, wide-format printing has emerged as an attractive growth market. New Direction Partners explains why this is a market segment worth exploring.

Parting in Partnership: Selling Advice for Joint Owners

Joint owners will have a little more planning to do in order to be ready for the eventual sale of their company. They’ll need to understand each other’s personal objectives and, once they have that understanding, give themselves time to structure and execute a sale that satisfies everyone.

A Look Back at the Year in M&A

There is no better feeling in business than coming to the end of a good year with the wind still at your back for another one. It’s a pleasure to be able to sum up 2015 in this way as we review how the year played out for mergers and acquisitions among printing and packaging companies.

You’re the Star—But You Need a Stand-In

As the owner of a printing or a packaging business, you probably think of yourself as a pretty effective negotiator—and you probably are correct. Skill in negotiating is, after all, a hallmark of the leader of any successful business.