Brook & Whittle Continues Expansion with Agreements to Acquire Innovative Labeling Solutions and Wizard Labels
9 October 2020
Brook and Whittle Holding Corp., a leading provider of sustainable pressure sensitive and shrink sleeve prime labels, today announced the signing of definitive agreements to acquire Innovative Labeling Solutions, Inc. ("ILS") and Wizard Labels LLC in partnership with founders, Jay Dollries, Steve Wolf and Steve Smith. Brook & Whittle is majority owned by private equity firm Snow Phipps Group, L.L.C. ("Snow Phipps"). The closing of the acquisitions is expected to occur within 30 days.
Jay Dollries founded ILS with Steve Wolf in 1996 and went on to start Wizard Labels with Steve Smith in 2013. ILS is the preeminent full-service provider of high quality digitally printed prime labels. Wizard Labels is an online custom product label company, focused on providing a seamless online transaction experience and excellent customer service. Both companies, similar to Brook & Whittle, are focused on supplying pressure sensitive and shrink sleeve labels to growth-oriented consumer end markets including craft beverage, nutraceuticals, food, household and personal care, among others. Mr. Dollries and Mr. Smith will continue their involvement and become part owners in Brook & Whittle post-closing. The ILS and Wizard Labels leadership teams will continue to focus on running their respective businesses as part of Brook & Whittle.
"We are thrilled to acquire leading providers of digital and custom online prime label solutions in North America. The founders of ILS and Wizard Labels have built remarkable companies that are exceptionally well-positioned for growth and we are incredibly excited for them to join Brook & Whittle as significant shareholders," said Mark Pollard, CEO of Brook & Whittle.
"There is significant benefit in the application of the ILS and Wizard Labels business model across Brook & Whittle," said Don Sturdivant, Chairman of Brook & Whittle and Operating Partner at Snow Phipps. "Brook & Whittle, ILS and Wizard Labels all focus on similar growth-oriented end markets and product categories, namely pressure sensitive and shrink sleeve. We are eager to combine our efforts to collectively better serve our growing customer base."
Since the purchase of its first digital press in 2005, ILS has focused its business model around digital production capable of delivering fast lead times on short run production for its customers. ILS has longstanding partnerships with several of the world's leading global digital print and converting equipment manufacturers and frequently serves as a beta testing site for new equipment introductions. Mr. Dollries, who is the current CEO of ILS, will help transition the ILS platform to Brook & Whittle and become a strategic advisor and thought partner as a shareholder and board member of Brook & Whittle. "Jay has driven remarkable growth at ILS over its long history, and we are extremely excited for him to help us craft our future digital strategy," stated Mr. Pollard.
"ILS has proven its ability to maximize the capabilities of digital printing technology in unique ways to provide solutions for our customers. The opportunity to leverage our know-how across the broader Brook & Whittle platform will truly enhance our ability to scale the business model and growth prospects. In addition, ILS and Brook & Whittle share similar cultures and values, so this partnership is truly a great fit," stated Mr. Dollries.
Wizard Labels was founded in 2013 by both Mr. Smith and Mr. Dollries. The collaboration between ILS and Wizard Labels has proven to be an excellent match, delivering high quality solutions in minimal turnaround time. "The Wizard Labels' technology platform has demonstrated its unique ability to service customers with unparalleled speed and reliability," said Mr. Smith, Founder and President of Wizard Labels. "We look forward to expanding our product line and growing our customer base with the increased capabilities Brook & Whittle offers." Mr. Smith will continue with Brook & Whittle as a strategic advisor and shareholder helping Brook & Whittle continue to scale Wizard Labels' technology platform.
ILS and Wizard Labels are the fourth and fifth add-on transactions that Brook & Whittle anticipates completing since Snow Phipps' initial investment in October 2017. Brook & Whittle acquired Prime Package & Label in November 2018, a shrink sleeve facility in Croydon in May 2020 and Label Impressions in June 2020.
"We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with ILS and Wizard Labels and are very enthusiastic about our future together," said Gerald Sheehan, Partner at Snow Phipps. "The acquisition will further enhance Brook & Whittle's position as a leading provider of high-end labels across North America."
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as legal counsel and KPMG LLP served as financial advisor to Snow Phipps. RKCA Investment Banking served as financial advisor to ILS and Wizard Labels in these transactions.
About Brook & Whittle
Brook & Whittle, headquartered in Guilford, CT, is a leading technically-oriented North American manufacturer of premium prime label solutions with highly differentiated capabilities, entrusted by some of the largest global brands. The Company provides pressure sensitive labels, shrink labels and medical packaging, with a focus on sustainable packaging solutions and decorative effects requiring significant technical expertise. With a heritage rooted in product development and comprehensive in-house manufacturing operations, the Company draws on its wide variety of specialized printing expertise, including flexographic, rotogravure and digital, to create unique decorated labels across a range of substrates. Brook & Whittle operates eight production facilities in North Branford, CT, Guilford, CT, Amherst, NY, Croydon, PA, St. Louis, MO, Nashville, TN, Orange, CA and Hamilton, OH. To learn more about Brook & Whittle, visit www.brookandwhittle.com.
About Innovative Labeling Solutions
Innovative Labeling Solutions is a full-service prime packaging provider focused on high quality digitally printed labels serving the household personal care, beverage, nutraceutical, food and industrial end markets, amongst others. Innovative Labeling Solutions is located in Hamilton, OH. For more information, visit www.ilslabels.com.
About Wizard Labels
Wizard Labels is an online custom product label company focused on the business-to-business label market. Wizard Labels serves a variety of end markets including beauty, household personal care, nutraceutical, CBD/cannabis, food and beverage, amongst others. For more information, visit www.wizardlabels.com.
About Snow Phipps Group
Snow Phipps is a private equity firm focused on lower middle-market control investments with $2.8 billion of total capital commitments raised since its founding in 2005. The firm generally focuses on companies in attractive sub-sectors across the Industrials, Services and Consumer industries and targets platform investments with enterprise values ranging from $100 million to $500 million. The Snow Phipps investment team collaborates with its Operating Partners and portfolio management teams to create value through an operationally focused strategy often led by organic or acquisition-driven growth. To learn more about Snow Phipps, visit www.snowphipps.com.