Jostens buys rival memorabilia company, names new CEO

  • Article by: EVAN RAMSTAD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 20, 2013 - 9:05 PM

New chief Chuck Mooty led Faribault Woolen Mills and International Dairy Queen.

 

Jostens Inc., the Bloomington-based preserver of memories for fresh-faced high school graduates and Super Bowl champions, is acquiring one of its biggest rivals and hired a veteran of the Minnesota business scene to lead the expansion.

Chuck Mooty, a former leader of Faribault Woolen Mills and International Dairy Queen, was appointed chief executive and president of Jostens, the company said. Mooty was most recently interim CEO of Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis.

He will start work on Jan. 1 as the company moves to close on its biggest acquisition — the purchase of American Achievement Group Holding Corp., an Austin, Texas, firm that also publishes high school yearbooks and other memorabilia for schools and businesses.

The price of the deal, which was announced Tuesday, wasn’t disclosed. The New York Times, citing a person it said was briefed on the acquisition, said it was about $500 million.

Jostens said it expected the deal to close in the spring and be accretive to its cash flow in the first year of combined operations.

Both companies have private equity owners. Jostens is a unit of Visant Corp., an Armonk, N.Y., holding company for major commercial printers formed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. in 2004. American Achievement is owned by Fenway Partners.

“The transaction brings together the talents of the two great companies and will enhance our opportunities to continue to provide the best products and services to our industry,” Jim Simpson, Jostens chief financial officer, said in a statement.

Mooty is moving to Jostens after seeing Fairview through a transition prompted by a public relations crisis and investigation by the state attorney general’s office. The outcome of that investigation, which found Fairview allowed consultants to badger patients for money, led to changes in its management.

“I am honored to be joining the Jostens team at this exciting time,” Mooty said in a statement. “I have always enjoyed working with heritage brands in my past, and Jostens is another wonderful opportunity to bring pride, relevance and new energy to its products and services, which celebrate significant and magical moments in one’s life.”

In addition to being one of the nation’s top publishers of yearbooks and creators of class rings, Jostens has gained attention as a maker of Super Bowl rings for NFL teams.

 

Evan Ramstad • 612-673-4241

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