Private Equity Firm Finalizes Multi-Color Corp. Acquisition, Combines With WS Packaging
Many printers may not be familiar with Platinum Equity, a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based private equity investment firm founded in 1995 that now has approximately $13 billion of assets and a wide-ranging global portfolio of approximately 40 operating companies, including several with ties to the printing industry. It just completed its latest acquisition on July 1, 2019, by finalizing the purchase of Cincinnati-based Multi-Color Corp. and merging it with a subsidiary of WS Packaging, another label and packaging solutions provider it purchased in February 2018.
The combined company, which will be known as Multi-Color Corp. and headquartered in Cincinnati, is a $2.2 billion enterprise with 86 plants in 26 countries and more than 10,000 global employees. WS Packaging is now a business unit of Multi-Color, but will continue to maintain its own management team, sales force, production plants, and headquarters in Green Bay, Wis.
Multi-Color Corp. is a label solutions provider of pressure-sensitive, in-mold, shrink sleeve, wraps, cut and stack, heat transfer, durables and aluminum foils for home and personal care, wine and spirits, food and beverage, health care, and specialty consumer products. As of July 1, 2019, Multi-Color became a privately-held company, and shares of its common stock ceased trading on the Nasdaq.
With 17 manufacturing facilities, WS Packaging produces pressure-sensitive labels, as well as glue applied, sleeve (shrink) and in-mold labels for the food and beverage, consumer packaged goods, and pharmaceuticals industries. Reporting $440 million in most recent fiscal year sales, WS Packaging Group was listed Number 14 on the most recent Printing Impressions 400 ranking of the largest printers in the U.S. and Canada, as ranked by annual revenues. (Click here to view the full list.)
Here are some of the other Platinum Equity holdings in the graphic arts space:
- Platinum Equity acquired Minneapolis-based Jostens from Newell Brands for approximately $1.3 billion in December 2018. Jostens provides yearbooks, publications, jewelry, and consumer goods that serve the K-12 educational, college, and professional sports segments.
- The private equity firm bought Pitney Bowes' Document Messaging Technologies business in July 2018 for $361 million, subject to certain adjustments. It renamed the Danbury, Conn.-based provider of inserting, sorting, and printing-related equipment and software for the transactional and direct mail industries as BlueCrest.
- In January 2017, Platinum Equity purchased Cox Target Media (CTM) from Cox Media Group. CTM is one of the nation’s largest direct marketing service providers, reaching more than 100 million consumers, primarily through Valpak “Blue Envelope” household mailers, as well as Savings.com, an online provider of digital coupons and promotional codes. CTM prints, packages and ships Valpak coupon envelopes from the Valpak Manufacturing Center, a $200 million, 470,000-sq.-ft. print production facility that opened in St. Petersburg, Fla., in early 2008 with more than 300 workers. When it was built, the operation was heralded throughout the printing industry for its JDF/JMF-based workflows, sophisticated web offset printing and material handling automation, as well as its lean manufacturing capabilities. The production facility consolidated former operations in Largo, Fla., and Elm City, N.C.
- Platinum Equity has considerable experience in the packaging sector and recently owned Mactac, a supplier of pressure-sensitive materials.
Vinecombe Named CEO of Combined Company
Nigel Vinecombe, executive chairman of Multi-Color Corp.'s board of directors since January 2016, and president and CEO of the company from June 2010 to January 2016, has been named CEO for the combined company, bringing more than 35 years of label industry experience to the role. He succeeded Mike Henry, who remains in an advisory role.
"I am excited for this opportunity to open new areas of growth for our company that will allow us to even better serve our customers with a comprehensive suite of label solutions across all regions, technologies and run lengths," Vinecombe said in a statement. "This is a testament to all Multi-Color Corp. has achieved in our mission to deliver the world's best premium label solutions — and we are confident this is only the beginning of what we will accomplish together with WS Packaging."
Louis Samson, partner at Platinum Equity, was similarly enthusiastic about the combination of Multi-Color and WS Packaging. "Bringing these companies together creates one of the most extensive manufacturing and production footprints in the industry and a business with unrivaled technology and expertise," he said. "We will work with the management team to ensure a seamless transition and will continue pursuing new avenues for growth."