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Championship Rings, Yearbooks Maker Jostens Sold to Platinum Equity for $1.3B

With the sale by Newell Brands, Jostens, known for its class rings, yearbooks and championship sports rings, gets its third new owner in three years.

Championship Rings, Yearbooks Maker Jostens Sold to Platinum Equity for $1.3B
Photo by: Margaret M Stewart

Jostens, an achievement-oriented products and services provider, is changing hands, as LA-based private equity firm Platinum Equity has agreed to purchase Jostens from Newell Brands for about $1.3 billion. The deal will usher in a new owner at Jostens—its third in as many years.

Based in Minneapolis, Jostens is known for its achievement-marking products—yearbooks, class rings, professional sports championship rings and more. In recent years, Jostens created championship rings for the NHL’s Stanley Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins and the NFL’s Super Bowl LI victors, the New England Patriots.

"It's an iconic brand with passionate employees and a strong connection to its customers,” said Platinum Equity partner Louis Samson in a statement. “We look forward to partnering with management and deploying our financial and operational resources to help the company maximize its potential."

New Jersey-based Newell Brands, a global consumer goods company, opted to sell Jostens as part of its “Accelerated Transformation Plan,” which involves focusing and re-structuring its portfolio into a simpler, more efficient and more consumer-centric model.

As part of its sales of Jostens, Newell Brands is simultaneously cutting bait with Pure Fishing, its fishing gear business arm. Pure Fishing will be bought by New York-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners for another $1.3 billion.

Newell Brands expects the two deals combined will generate about $2.5 billion after tax, and the company plans to put the proceeds into share repurchasing. Newell Brands’ other properties include FoodSaver, Rubbermaid, Yankee Candle, Graco, and more.

For Jostens, which got its start in 1897 as a keepsake jewelry repair business, has been bought and sold three times in the last three years.

In 2015, its parent company Visant Holding Corp was sold by its ownership collective of investment funds and stockholders to Jarden Corporation for $1.5 billion.

Newall Brands then acquired Jarden Corporation, a Miami-based consumer products provider, in April 2016, in a deal that merged Jarden and Newell Rubbermaid into a $16 billion company.

Under Platinum Equity, it’s expected that Jostens – which generated $768 million in 2017 net sales – will operate on its own more-so than ever before.

“They'll bring new resources and a fresh perspective, backed by a track record of helping companies like ours thrive as a standalone business," said Jostens CEO Chuck Mooty, in prepared remarks. "I am confident that Platinum Equity is the perfect partner to help Jostens write the next chapter of a success story that goes back more than 100 years." 

Recent other acquisitions by Platinum Equity include a $2.1 billion deal for Johnson & Johnson’s Lifescan brand.

Jostens employs over 3,000 employees worldwide, company spokesman Jeff Peterson tells TCB. It also has 11 facilities across the U.S., including three in Minnesota (in Owatonna, Eagan, and its headquarters in Minneapolis).

The deal for Jostens is still pending standard approval but is expected to close by the end of the year. 

 

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