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Keller Bros. & Miller, Inc. and Petit Printing Corp. on Friday announced a merger that will bring together two longtime Buffalo printers with more than 120 years of combined experience.

Ralph Salerno, Keller Bros. owner, said that Petit Printing owner Rich Petit, in business for more than 25 years, will be joining the 98-year-old Keller company as soon as the deal closes. The merger will allow Petit to remain in business with his customers out of Keller Bros.’ larger warehouse at 401 Franklin St. near Pearl Street, where the company has operated since 1922.

Petit employs seven workers, but Salerno said he is not yet sure if all will be retained. Keller Bros. employs 16.

“There are a lot of different reasons for doing this,” Salerno said Friday. “One is to bridge the generational gap between the two companies. Another is definitely to add some cushion to the bottom line. Not one single goal drives this whole thing, but ultimately it boils down to that Rich has tremendous respect in this industry.”

Salerno couldn’t put a figure on it, but said he expects to absorb “many, if not all” of Petit’s customers by bringing him on board.

Petit will opt out of leased space at 155 Rano St.

Salerno said several pieces of Petit’s equipment will be transferred to the Franklin Street building in the merger, but “at least a dozen” others will be sold.

Keller Bros., founded in 1916, conducted a 55,000-square-foot expansion in 2008, adding to the 86,000-square-foot building that has stood there since the company moved in four years after opening.

With plenty of space located in a prime development area, Salerno said he and Petit are expecting the merger to significantly enhance customer volume out of the plant.

“This infrastructure bolsters Petit’s craftsmanship and attention to detail with large format, high volume capabilities” and “will allow the Petit Printing client base to take advantage of the production infrastructure of Keller Bros. & Miller,” Salerno said.

“We’re just hoping the excitement around downtown and the inertia of development will translate to business growth for everyone involved.”

email: bschlager@buffnews.com