The Month In News

There was another mixed bag of financial results this month as the final trickle of Q1 figures bundled in. Like many others this quarter, Tech Data saw the US boost its worldwide sales figures to $5.1 billion. Esselte was not as lucky, meanwhile, reporting a net loss of $18.5 million, although key areas are improving in 2005. School Specialty also reported a greater loss – of $8.4 million, compared to a loss of $6.1 million last year.

But despite it being a seasonably slow period for school products, the Wisconsin-based company has plenty to be excited about. It has just agreed to be taken over by an affiliate of private investment firm Bain Capital Partners for about $1.5 billion. David Vander Zanden for one must be celebrating; he gets to stay on as president/ CEO after the deal is completed.

Indeed, there was plenty of impetus this month when it came to big buys and sell ups. International Paper completed the sale of industrial papers business; Weyerhaeuser signed off the sale of its British Colombia-based mills and timberlands; and United Stationers took full control of the Sweet Paper companies.

Meanwhile, European inkjet distributor The Container Club is going into liquidation, after a second potential buyer pulled out.

A busy month indeed.