Major Moves in the Promotional Products Industry this Week
By the time you read this blog I will be sitting on the beach in Florida, with the only promotional product on my mind being the Norwood koozie keeping my beer cold. Because my brain is already on vacation, this week's blog is a good old-fashioned news roundup. Fortunately, there's been a lot of big news over the past seven days. Here's a recap of what's been happening:
- Gildan to Acquire Anvil for $88 Million - On Thursday afternoon, Gildan announced a deal to acquire Anvil Knitwear for $88 million. The two apparel companies, both of whom have operated in the promotional products industry, are expected to complete the deal by the end of the month. Details about how the purchase will play out, but preliminary estimages show that it could make Gildan one of the largest textile businesses around: sales revenues for the company were projected as just under $2 billion for the year, and that was before yesterday's announcement.
- HALO Branded Solutions Acquired by PSP Capital - The big news Wednesday night is that distributor HALO Branded Solutions was sold to PSP Capital, an investment firm in Chicago. The company was sold by Compass Diversified Holdings, another investment firm that bought HALO in 2007. While any company being sold is big news, that isn't the most important part of this story, as nothing for the company will be changing as far as management and direction. The major takeaway here is that HALO's 2012 selling price was $76.5 million, 22.4 percent more than it sold for in 2007. If you want a sign that the promotional products industry is strong and growing, there it is.
- Polyconcept Names Michael Bernstein as CEO - Hours earlier on Wednesday, another big story came out, as longtime Polyconcept CEO Philippe Varnier stepped down from his post. Varnier, who joined the company in 1978 when it was known as Polyflame International, has been the company's CEO since 1993 and was key in expanding the company's footprint into the promotional industry. His successor, Michael Bernstein, is also a long-time industry member, having joined Leed's 20 years ago and becoming a member of the Polyconcept family in 2005 with the acquisition of Leed's. Bernstein's tenure began on Wednesday, and Varnier will remain on as an advisor and member of the board.
- PPAI Board Announces Changes to Bylaws and Board of Directors - Finally, last week PPAI announced that it had revised the bylaws concerning its board of directors, outlining a four-year plan to reduce the size of the board. "This structure will allow the board to act on emerging opportunities and address competitive forces in the marketplace with greater ease and nimbleness, while retaining appropriate deference to the traditional balance of our organization," said Paul Bellantone, PPAI president and CEO. I had the pleasure of speaking with PPAI chairman Steven Meyers about the new bylaws, and from what he said, it sounds like the changes will streamline the group, improving its ability to make decisions and respond to industry issues. Good stuff.
- One more fun thing: Maribeth and Chuck Sandford, the owners of Bag Makers, have a horse running in the Kentucky Derby this weekend! You know who I'm rooting for in the fastest two minutes in sports on Saturday. If anyone can tell me where to get a good mint julep in Naples, drop a clue in the comments.