BAMKO Acquires Distributor Guardian Products
BAMKO, Los Angeles, announced today that it has acquired substantially all of the assets of Guardian Products, the distributor based in Norcross, Georgia, effective May 1, 2022.
Guardian, which placed No. 64 on Print+Promo Marketing's 2021 Top Distributors list, specializes in the automotive dealer market. BAMKO said the acquisition complements its December 2021 acquisition of Sutter's Mill Specialties, which also specializes in that market.
Jake Himelstein, president of BAMKO, called the move a "bolt-on" acquisition in relation to the Sutter's Mill purchase, combining Guardian's strong sales network and customer base with Sutter's Mill's extensive in-house decoration and production capabilities. Together, the two companies will allow BAMKO to provide complete service to the automotive dealer market.
“The acquisition of Guardian is a great fit for our expanding business,” Himelstein said in a press release. “Our December acquisition of Sutter’s Mill and its production and decoration capabilities created a unique synergistic opportunity that we were eager to seize upon. With the addition of Guardian, we can further leverage the Sutter’s Mill infrastructure to immediately become the dominant player in the automotive dealer space. We see this as a tremendous growth opportunity and expect significant sales opportunities to result from our unique ability to provide uniform solutions for Guardian’s existing and future customer base.”
“We knew right away that BAMKO was different,” said Neil Wise, Sr., founder and president of Guardian Products. “BAMKO approached this entire process with a thoughtfulness, enthusiasm, cooperative spirit and authenticity that got us excited about building a future together."
Guardian posted 2020 revenue just shy of $20 million and 12-month trailing revenue of $23 million. Himelstein said that the company's culture was just as important as its financials when it came to making this decision.
"If we aren't completely confident in the cultural fit between the companies, we won't explore the conversation further," he told Promo Marketing. "That part has to work really well and we won't consider a deal if it doesn't. The Wise family has developed a wonderful, family-oriented culture at Guardian and we intend to protect and enhance it."
BAMKO has been active in the M&A space over the past year or so. In addition to the acquisitions of Guardian Products and Sutter's Mill, the company entered a strategic partnership with Carder and Associates in February and acquired Gifts By Design in early 2021.
"We're not looking to do a ton of deals, but we're eager to do the right deals," Josh White, senior vice president of strategic growth for BAMKO, told Promo Marketing. "This was the right deal. This one had a unique feature in that acquiring Guardian actually made Sutter's Mill a better deal for us, and acquiring Sutter's Mill made Guardian a better fit for us. So we were eager to seize upon the unique synergies that acquiring these two very complementary businesses had to offer."