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Marketing Comm. Co. Brandspring Bought by WI Printer

The Minneapolis-based firm's longtime owner and president, Dave Maiser, wanted to sell as he nears retirement; he chose The Marek Group after receiving three acquisition offers.

Minneapolis-based Brandspring Solutions said Tuesday that it has been bought by The Marek Group, a Waukesha, Wisconsin-based commercial printing firm.

Brandspring, an integrated marketing communications firm, will now operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of The Marek Group and will keep its name and current location.

Dave Maiser, Brandspring president and the sole owner up until the acquisition, told Twin Cities Business that there will be "no changes to how we operate or how we service our customers," and all 17 of Brandspring's employees are being retained by The Marek Group.

Maiser-who will turn 66 later this year-said that he listed 37-year-old Brandspring with the Sunbelt Business Brokers' mergers and acquisitions group prior to the buyout. "I figured it was about time to start looking at retirement," Maiser said.

His primary objective was to find a buyer who "would leave the business intact," he said. He got three offers before choosing The Marek Group. The company offers commercial-offset and digital printing, marketing collateral management and direct marketing services, direct-mail production and postal optimization, and automated print-on-demand, fulfillment, and distribution services.

The deal closed on July 29, and Maiser declined to disclose its financial terms. But Brandspring's annual revenue totals about $3 million, he said.

According to Maiser, The Marek Group is particularly interested in Brandspring's Web-to-print platform-which allows clients and/or their customers to go onto a Web site and custom create brochures, catalogs, business cards, stationery, or other products that are print-ready.

Brandspring serves a variety of companies, including health-care organizations, direct-mail companies, and retail chains. Broker-dealers at Minnetonka-based UnitedHealthcare, for example, create marketing materials using Brandspring's Web applications.

The Marek Group-which has roughly 170 employees, according to Maiser-will move all of its Web-to-print applications onto Brandspring's platform.

Maiser plans to stay with the newly acquired company for another 18 months to help with the transition and will then retire.

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