Chicago, August 1, 2007 GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC, one of the nation’s leading private equity firms, announced today that EK Success, a leading provider of scrapbooking and paper-based crafts products, has acquired Wilton Industries, Inc. and Dimensions Holdings, LLC. EK Success is a creative consumer products company with a major market position in the scrapbooking segment of the $30 billion U.S. craft industry. EK Success was acquired by GTCR in February 2006. The combined companies will be named Wilton Products, Inc. and be headquartered in Woodridge, Illinois.
Wilton Industries, founded in 1929 and based in Woodridge, Illinois, is the leading food crafting company in the industry, with the number one position in cake decorating and bakeware. Wilton offers the industry’s most comprehensive selection of baking, cake decorating, candy making, cookie, wedding and seasonal products. In addition, Wilton participates in the specialty home products industry through The Weston Gallery and Copco divisions. The Weston Gallery is a leader in upscale picture frame design and trend right home decor. Copco is the premier designer and marketer of tea kettles and quality kitchenware. Brands include Mario Batali™, Rick Bayless™ and Chef Robert Irvine™ in addition to Wilton’s 14 children’s character licenses.
Dimensions, based in Reading, Pennsylvania, is a leading designer, producer, and distributor of premium quality craft and hobby products for adults and children. The company maintains a solid leadership position in the scrapbook and paper-based craft industry through its highly recognized K&Co brand. As a result, K&Co is highly complementary to EK Success’ existing business, product innovation and overall value proposition. In addition, Dimensions has developed market leading brands in the small and niche product segments of the crafts industry. These brands include Dimensions® (needlecraft), Paintworks™ (paint-by-number), Perler Beads® (kid’s activity beading), and Inkadinkado® (rubber stamping).
The newly-formed company will be led by industry veteran and existing Wilton President and Chief Operating Officer, Steven Fraser. Mr. Fraser will oversee the combined businesses as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “On behalf of the management team, we are very excited to partner with GTCR to build the new Wilton Products into the largest and most diversified player in the crafts industry,” stated Fraser. “By leveraging Wilton’s legendary brand status and the direct synergies between EK Success and Dimensions, our new company will be poised for unprecedented growth opportunities.”
“This is an outstanding investment opportunity for GTCR,” said GTCR Principal David Donnini. “We are very excited to partner with Steve to help build a truly exceptional platform in the crafts industry. We look forward to capitalizing on the market leadership positions of Wilton, EK Success, and Dimensions to secure broader growth opportunities.”
“EK Success’ demonstrated track record of creativity and product innovation has made it the leading player in the industry,” added GTCR Principal Vince Hemmer. “The company’s next phase as the new Wilton Products ensures that it will continue to build on its strong presence in papercrafting products, and continue as the leader in baking and cake decorating products as well.” Hemmer added, “We are thrilled about the opportunity to work with Steve and his team. He is a superior executive with a proven track record for excellence and fits well with GTCR’s strategy of partnering with exceptional management teams.”
UBS Investment Bank and Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc. acted as exclusive financial advisors to GTCR and provided the debt financing for the acquisitions. Robert W. Baird & Co. acted as exclusive financial advisor to Wilton Industries, and Edgeview Partners provided advisory services to Dimensions. Legal counsel was provided to GTCR by Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and to Wilton Industries by Ungaretti & Harris LLP.
About Wilton Industries
Wilton Industries, based in Woodridge, Illinois, has successfully united three distinctive consumer products companies whose strategic focus is product innovation and quality. The three divisions are Wilton Enterprises, Copco, and The Weston Gallery. The company’s best-known division and preferred brand for over 50 years, Wilton Enterprises, sells cake baking and decorating items in more than 100 countries. Wilton’s Copco division is the leading manufacturer of teakettles, and The Weston Gallery unit is a full-line picture frame supplier to the retail industry. For more information go to www.wilton.com.
Dimensions is a leading designer, producer, and distributor of premium quality craft and hobby products for adults and children. Based in Reading, Pennsylvania, the company participates in the large, fragmented, steady-growth craft and hobby industry. Dimensions’ offering includes needlecraft, paint-by-number, kid’s activity beading, rubber stamping, scrapbooking, and card making products, most of which are sold in kits or marketed in coordinated themes.
About EK Success
EK Success is a creative consumer products company with the leading market position in the fast-growing $3.0 billion scrapbooking segment of the U.S. craft industry. EK Success designs and markets some of the craft industry’s most respected brands of stickers, multi-dimensional embellishments, punches and writing utensils for use in scrapbooking and related paper crafts, such as card making and invitation creation. These include ZIG Memory System®, Sticko®, Paper Shapers®, Jolee’s Boutique®, HERMA® and Cutter Bee®. The Company has a demonstrated history of consistent, successful product innovation, having won over 40 design and reader’s choice awards since 2002. For more information go to www.eksuccess.com.
Founded in 1980, GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC is a leading private equity investment firm and long-term strategic partner for outstanding management teams. The Chicago-based firm pioneered the investment strategy of identifying and partnering with exceptional executives to acquire and build companies through a combination of acquisitions and strong internal growth. GTCR currently manages more than $8 billion of equity capital invested in a wide range of companies and industries. More information about GTCR can be found at www.gtcr.com.