Mirus Capital AdvisorsMirus Capital Advisors

Laura Kevghas Featured in Promotional Products Business Article

Burlington, MA —  With merger and acquisition activity heating up, there is opportunity for buyers and sellers — if they know how to make the deal.

In 2009, the promotional products industry saw more than 50 different mergers and acquisitions, including the partnering of Norwood and BIC, two of the largest industry suppliers. So far this year, there have been a dozen more.

These numbers seem to indicate increased M&A activity, at least in our industry. Paul Lage, MAS, former president of Norwood Promotional Products (UPIC: Norwood) who was a primary player in the company’s merger with BIC last summer, says contraction in the size of the promotional products market is one of the reasons activity has increased. As a result, this naturally causes some of the weaker players to rethink their position and consolidate.

“Companies are also trying to leverage strength with their vendors, and it is easier to do this with a larger organization,” he says. “Additionally, there have been many highly leveraged suppliers and distributors in the industry. Because of what happened with the financial markets, these companies simply couldn’t survive.”

While there appears to be more merger and acquisition activity in the promotional products industry today than in 2008 or 2009, experts say that, in general, overall activity is down.

“There have been a growing number of mergers and acquisitions in Q1 2010 compared to Q1 of 2009, but it is still at a lower rate than we saw from 2005 to early 2008,” says Laura Kevghas, partner at Mirus Capital Advisors, Inc., who has more than 20 years’ M&A experience and currently works with companies generally valued between $10 and $150 million.