• Investment Group Agrees to Acquire Polyconcept

    Investment Group Agrees to Acquire Polyconcept
    As first reported in a Counselor Breaking News Alert on July 18, Polyconcept, parent company of Top 40 supplier Polyconcept North America, will be acquired by an investment group led by private equity firm Charlesbank Capital Partners. Reuters and Counselor reported in May that Investcorp, Polyconcept’s current owner, was exploring an auction sale of its holdings in the supplier.

    Polyconcept’s management will remain unchanged, and will put in equity along with Charlesbank and other investors to finance the transaction. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The sale is expected to close later in this year’s third quarter.

    “Charlesbank is an ideal partner for Polyconcept, and I am looking forward to the opportunities that we will have to grow with them,” David Nicholson, president of Polyconcept North America, said in a statement. “We anticipate the transition to be seamless for both our customers and our employees.”

    This is Charlesbank’s first investment in the promotional product industry. In an exclusive interview with Counselor, Nicholson said that several factors led to Charlesbank’s interest, including “the promotional products market’s history of growth and future prospects; industry dynamics, including particularly the strong established relationships between suppliers and distributors; and Polyconcept’s leadership position and track record over the past 20 years.”

    In 2005, Investcorp acquired PF Concept in Europe and Leed’s (asi/66887) and formed Polyconcept. It was reported in May that as Investcorp evaluated the sale of Polyconcept, it valued the global supplier at more than $1.3 billion, including debt.

    “We have had a successful chapter with Investcorp and are thankful for its partnership over the years,” said Gene Colleran, CEO for Polyconcept. “We are excited to forge a new partnership with Charlesbank, which has a long history of joining forces with management teams to grow their businesses. With Charlesbank’s financial support, strategic guidance and significant network of contacts, we look forward to working together to create substantial value for the future.”

    Under Investcorp, Polyconcept North America made a series of acquisitions in the last decade, including Bullet (asi/42424), Journalbooks (asi/91340), Trimark (asi/92121) and Humphrey Line. When asked about future acquisitions with Charlesbank, Nicholson told Counselor, “We are excited about the opportunities to accelerate our growth and expansion – both through organic initiatives as well as through acquisitions. We will continue to be diligent and selective when it comes to acquisitions – focusing on those which bring a strategic value to Polyconcept.”

    Specializing in the middle market, Charlesbank manages more than $3.5 billion of capital and has a number of diverse holdings across consumer, industrial, financial and more. “Polyconcept is a market leader in both the United States and Europe, with superior customer service and global capabilities,” said Josh Klevens, managing director at Charlesbank, which is based in Boston. “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to partner with the management team to expand the business globally, building on their track record of success and tapping into new opportunities for growth.”

    Last week, Counselor revealed this year’s Top 40 results. Polyconcept North America ranked as the third-largest supplier, with $561.5 million in North America promotional product revenue.