Mergers and acquisitions were in the spotlight in 2015. In fact, last year was said to be a record year for these big wig deals. Powerhouses across industries joined forces for a variety of reasons, creating billion-dollar deals in their wake. According to The Globe and Mail, mergers and acquisitions were up more than 40 percent in 2015 – totaling a staggering $4.6 trillion.

Obviously, C-suite executives within each of these companies stand to make a lot of money off of these deals. Yet there is one industry that has reaped the benefits of the abundance of 2015 mergers & acquisitions that has largely gone unnoticed: print distributors.

Between various bids, high-level offers and a never-ending ream of contracts, printers have had their hands full with these new business deals. While paper may have been ruled obsolete a long time ago, printing companies are still very relevant when dealing with mergers and acquisitions. The acquisition of BG Group PLC by British oil giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC is the perfect example.

Print payoffs
The takeover, which was unveiled in April of last year, rang in at over $39 billion and is set to create an oil industry powerhouse, reported The Financial Times. Throughout the duration of the deal printers mailed out a collective 10,500 copies of a 72-page document that laid out intended offers, reported The Globe and Mail. Moreover, there were 500,000 printed copies of one regulatory letter alone.

The deals were high-security and required countless hours of proofreading and typesetting by print production companies. Yet the hard work was well worth the effort considering print companies involved in production for mergers and acquisitions reported seeing revenues double, explained The Globe and Mail.

One print firm claimed that a single merger required the printing of 40,000 documents. The source noted that a print company can earn profits in the tens of thousands per deal. When you throw typesetting, postage and other specialized offerings into the mix these deals can easily run into the millions.

Notable mergers and acquisitions of 2015
BG and Shell was not the only high-profile deal in 2015. In fact, it wasn't even one of the biggest. The merger between pharmaceutical leaders Pfizer and Allergan took the top spot, according to CNBC. The joining of the two companies is set to be the largest M&A deal since 1999, totaling $191 billion. Second on the list was the purchase of SABMiller by Anheuser-Busch InBev. The $120 billion deal was made in November of 2105 and will make the new combined company responsible for around a third of the global beer supply, explained CNBC.

Like the BG and Shell acquisition, these deals required high volumes of paperwork and thus provided a steady stream of revenue for print distributors. In the future, print salespeople would be wise to keep an eye to rumored M&As in order to jump on the potential sales as a result of these deals.