Allen Printing buys Nashville Bindery

Turnaround at rejuvenated family-run firm goes vertical

Barely two years after exiting bankruptcy, Allen Printing is beefing up its product range with the acquisition of another venerable player in Nashville’s printing sector.

Allen, which is run by the Heffington family, recently bought Nashville Bindery Co., which has for nearly 50 years bound books, magazines and other printed materials for clients around the region. Members of the Cothran family that has run the bindery since its founding will continue to work at the company’s Armory Drive facilities.

“We hope to dramatically increase the turn times at Nashville Bindery and maintain a solid level of high quality output,” said Allen owner and CEO Shannon Heffington. “We have added services such as silk screening and will also incorporate simple business practices that have worked well for Allen over the past few years.”

The deal came about with the help of former Allen owner Tony Pack, who brought the parties together, as well as Steve Curnutte with Nashville-based Tortola Advisors, who steered Allen through its restructuring.

“This acquisition is a smart move and was one of those rare instances that timing and a will to work together allowed for a thoughtful acquisition and smooth transition,” Curnutte said. “The move is both vertical in nature as it allows Allen to have a bindery for work that would otherwise have been outside services, and horizontal insofar as it keeps a great old Middle Tennessee bindery serving the market.”

Allen COO Paul Heffington said his team plans to take its services into larger cities around the region to fill a void left by the demise of some other binderies.

Brooks Smith of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings advised the Heffingtons on their purchase.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with Nashville’s printers over the last 45 years,” said Bindery founder Jerry Cothran. “We really like the folks who are taking over and are happy they are carrying the company into the future.”