Blackford Capital’s Michigan Prosperity Fund Acquires Dickinson Press
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—August 17, 2015—Blackford Capital, a national private equity firm headquartered here, today announced its investment in Dickinson Press, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based company and leading full service book manufacturer and printing services provider. The transaction is the fifth by Blackford’s Michigan Prosperity Fund, which invests exclusively in Michigan companies to generate best-in-class equity returns and support the Michigan economy.
Founded in 1884, Dickinson Press features a wide variety of printing capabilities and print services including lithographic and digital printing, perfect and case binding, and warehousing and fulfillment services. Dickinson maintains an established presence in the niche religious printing segment and its ability to print on thin, lightweight paper sets the company apart and provides a unique customer base across the country.
"Dickinson is a trusted partner to the world’s most renowned religious publishing companies, and the company has a presence in other market segments such as media groups, financial and manufacturing businesses and education," said Martin Stein, founder and managing director of Blackford Capital. "Increased growth through add-on acquisitions as well as penetration in these markets will be a focus for the sales team moving forward, as well as expansion efforts focused on other adjacent segments such as automotive, healthcare and higher education that are designed to diversify the Company’s client base."
Today, Dickinson operates out of a 120,000-square-foot facility and employs 120 people in the West Michigan area. Currently, the company produces various books and printed materials including bibles, dictionaries, reference books, novels, children's books, and a variety of other printed literature for the religious, business and education markets. Dickinson’s management team will remain in place with Ray Sevin continuing his role as President and CEO.
"We’re very pleased to join forces with the Blackford Capital team. After 130 years of successful business operations, we’re looking forward to broader opportunities and the benefit of leveraging additional operational expertise for our employees, customers and partners," noted Sevin. "With the Midwest representing roughly 50 percent of the U.S. print market, Dickinson provides convenient access to many of the top customers and suppliers in the industry. Blackford has the right resources and talent to bring our business to the next level of performance."
The Michigan Prosperity Fund, created in 2012, invests in Michigan companies to generate best-in-class equity returns, and also supports the Michigan economy by protecting and creating jobs locally. Fenton-based Burgaflex, Grand Rapids-based Custom Profile, Metro Detroit-based Mopec, and Grand Haven-based Grand Transformers, are the other four companies currently in the fund.
Investment banking firm New Direction Partners represented Dickinson Press in the sale and will be partnering with Blackford and Dickinson Press moving forward as the company aggressively pursues add-on acquisitions.
About Blackford Capital
Blackford Capital is a private equity firm based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that acquires, manages and builds middle-market manufacturing, distribution and service companies, with eight portfolio companies across the country. The firm has offices in Grand Rapids (headquarters) and Santa Monica, California. Blackford reviewed roughly 5,000 transactions in 2014, and has closed 28 transactions in the past seven years. The firm’s investment criteria includes mature, profitable businesses with revenues between $20 million and $100 million, with management teams that are either willing to remain with the company or are seeking to retire.
About Dickinson Press
Founded in 1884, Dickinson Press is a leading full service book manufacturer and printing service provider offering a variety of capabilities including sheetfed lithographic printing, heatset web lithographic printing, digital printing, and services such as warehouse and fulfillment services, and perfect binding. The company produces various books and printed materials such as bibles, dictionaries, reference books, children's books, and a variety of other printed literature for the religious, business, education, and other end markets.
Source: Blackford Capital.