One of the largest label industry acquisitions in the recent past occurred in late January when Multi-Color Corporation, headquartered in Cincinnati, bought NorthStar Print Group from Journal Communications, of Milwaukee. The purchase price, excluding certain real estate holdings, was $27.03 million in cash.
NorthStar, which has production plants in Watertown and Green Bay, WI, and in Norway, MI, has annual revenues of about $60 million and employs 275 people. The printing group is the label manufacturing subsidiary of Journal Communications, a media conglomerate which also owns the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper. NorthStar was founded in 1989 and acquired by Journal Communications in 1966.
Multi-Color is a public company with 2004 revenues of nearly $127 million and compound annual growth of about 20 percent over the past five years. According to President Frank Gerace, the purchase of NorthStar is Multi-Color’s seventh and largest acquisition since 1999.
Richard Gasper, president of NorthStar, has retired after many years at the helm. Two of NorthStar’s prominent managers now have top positions in the expanded organization: Andrew Walker, NorthStar’s vice president of sales and marketing, is now VP sales and marketing for the entire Decorating Solutions Division of Multi-Color; Murray White, VP of operations for NorthStar, remains vice president of operations for the Michigan and Wisconsin plants. Both report to Don Kneir, president of the Decorating Solutions Division.
The enlarged Multi-Color now has 815 employees.