CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 27, 2006--GTCR Golder Rauner, LLC, one of the nation's leading private equity firms, announced it has completed the acquisition of EK Success Ltd. (EK). Also, as previously announced, GTCR and EK Success have entered into a relationship with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE:MSO) to manufacture, market and sell Martha Stewart Crafts(TM) products.
EK Success is a creative consumer products company with the leading market position in the fast-growing $3.0 billion scrapbooking segment of the $30 billion U.S. craft industry. EK Success markets products such as stickers, multi-dimensional embellishments, tools, albums, punches and writing utensils for use in scrapbooking and related paper crafts, such as card making and invitation creation. The company has a demonstrated history of consistent, successful product innovation, having won over 40 design and reader's choice awards since 2002.
The Martha Stewart Crafts product line will include a wide range of craft products to provide consumers with a one-stop shop for their crafting needs. The first Martha Stewart Crafts products introduced will be paper-based craft and scrapbooking merchandise, which are expected to roll out in the fourth quarter of 2006 or the first quarter of 2007. Martha Stewart Crafts products will be sold in the major craft chains and in numerous independent craft stores throughout the country, as well as on the internet at www.marthastewart.com. The website will feature Martha Stewart Crafts tools, templates, and paper products as well as Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's (MSLO) inventive scrapbooking content and ideas to inspire and guide consumers through the creation of their own projects.
"EK's management team and employees are thrilled with our partnership with GTCR and MSLO," said EK CEO Chris Skinner. "GTCR's financial support and experience will be invaluable as we evaluate acquisition opportunities in the fragmented crafts industry." Skinner added, "Our excitement about our partnership with MSLO has continued to grow. It is a pleasure to pair our marketing, education, product development and retail distribution expertise with a trusted brand like Martha Stewart. With these important partnerships in place, we look forward to capitalizing on the many opportunities in both paper-based crafts and the broader craft industry."
"We are very excited about this unique and compelling investment," said GTCR principal David Donnini. "The partnership between EK and MSLO brings together the premiere platform in the scrapbooking sector with the leading source of creative inspiration and practical information on how to create handmade, homemade crafts. We are also very enthusiastic about partnering with such an exceptional management team, led by CEO Chris Skinner."
"We are thrilled with our investment in EK Success," commented GTCR principal Vince Hemmer. "We believe that EK is the premiere platform in the paper-based crafts industry and the collaboration with MSLO gives EK the opportunity to further expand its leadership position. The combination of EK's and MSLO's expertise and knowledge will further strengthen EK's product offerings and market position."
EK recently announced several key management appointments to position the company for future growth. Tom Kasvin joined the company as CFO and Dan Kochenash was promoted from VP of Operations to COO. Prior to joining EK, Tom Kasvin was the CFO of United Pet Group, a subsidiary of Spectrum Brands (NYSE:SPC).
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(R) Memory System(R), Sticko(R), Paper Shapers(R), Jolee's Boutique(R), HERMA(R) and Cutter Bee(R). The Company has a demonstrated history of consistent, successful product innovation, having won over 40 design and reader's choice awards since 2002. EK Success is headquartered in Clifton, New Jersey and has 228 employees. For more information, visit www.eksuccess.com.
About GTCR Golder Rauner LLC
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 $6 billion of equity capital invested in a wide range of companies and industries. More information can be found at www.gtcr.com.