Acme Bookbinding and The HF Group to Merge

Acme Bookbinding Company (Acme) and The HF Group (HFG) are pleased to announce a new partnership and that, effective immediately, these two established family businesses have merged.

Acme and HFG are industry leaders in the fields of trade & edition binding, library binding, pre-binding, digital printing and binding, print on demand (POD), deluxe leather hand binding, book and paper conservation, digital conversion of books and paper documents, and records & data storage and management. The merger of Acme and The HF Group brings their combined resources, vision and commitment to new opportunities created by recent market transitions.

"The book manufacturing industry has experienced rapid change as the Internet Revolution has necessitated new products and services. With this merger, Acme and HFG not only leverage their strengths in mature markets, but increase their capacity in growing markets. Acme and HFG, while growing and investing in these new markets will continue to preserve historic treasures, build tomorrow’s collectible, convert analog to digital for wider access, store and secure data, deliver a book that memorializes a life, or a creative dream, and with a product that always brings a smile," said Paul Parisi, President of Acme.

The focus of the new company will be to provide affordable products that exceed client expectations in its core book and binding markets, while growing in emerging markets. Jim Heckman, Vice President of The HF Group, said, "By joining forces, our new company will increase manufacturing scale so that we can be the best provider for the continuing demand for high-quality traditional book products, but more importantly, strengthen our capability in growth areas such as short-run digital and on-demand books.”

Both Acme and HFG have roots in the library binding industry. Both have also invested heavily in technology to diversify their product mix and to maximize efficiency. Acme has focused on the trade binding segment. Acme’s "coffee table" hard cover and soft cover bindings are considered to be of the highest quality and the Boston, Massachusetts operation is a unique facility qualified to serve discriminating publishers, designers, printers and authors. HFG has diversified and grown its historical preservation services through Etherington Conservation, its book and paper Digitization division and County Records restoration division. Both Acme and HFG have experience in digital short run and print on demand book manufacturing, producing a myriad of book products including travel books, year books, children’s books, photo books and books for the self-publishing author. The combined company is committed to further investment in its digital and on demand production, which it currently serves from its facilities in Boston, Massachusetts and North Manchester, Indiana.

Jay Fairfield, President of The HF Group says, "Publishers, scholastic, and library markets, booksellers, printers and binders are all looking for partners and service providers who evolve, grow and remain financially strong as industry paradigms change. The heart of this merger and the partnership among the Parisi, Heckman and Fairfield families is our combined experience, manufacturing resources and leadership in our core markets as well as in our growth markets."

Acme Bookbinding Company, Inc. - a family-owned business with roots to 1821, has been a leading force in the trade book binding and library binding markets. Additionally, Acme owns and operates the Harcourt Bindery division, producer of hand-tooled leather bindings and custom clam shell boxes, and its AM Sulkin division serves city, county and municipal registries. From its 100,000 square foot facility in Boston, Massachusetts, Acme produces hard and soft cover books in quantities of hundreds of thousands alongside thousands of orders of one book. The company currently employs approximately 125 people.

The HF Group, LLC - a library binding and preservation leader for over 50 years. In addition to its binding operations, HFG is the owner of Etherington Conservation Services (conservation), Book Partners (digital book production), Digital Conversion solutions (book, paper and document conversion), RecordSave (county records restoration) and AssureVault (records and data storage and management). HFG (The former Heckman Bindery, Inc. and ICIBinding Corporation) operates production, sales and transportation facilities in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Texas, Washington and Hawaii. The HF Group is headquartered in Chesterland, Ohio, and employs approximately 325 people.

The individual plants of the merged company will continue to operate under their current names. The combined company, its partners, managers and staff look forward to an exciting future celebrating the book and the opportunities this business combination promises.

Both companies are association members of the Book Manufacturers Institute (BMI) and Hardcover Binders International and The Library Binding Institute (HBI/LBI).

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