Jostens, the 121-year-old Minnesota maker of class rings and yearbooks, is getting another new owner, its third in three years.
The company was sold by its parent firm, Newell Brands, to the investment firm Platinum Equity for $1.3 billion. The deal, announced Wednesday, was part of an effort by Hoboken, N.J.-based Newell to simplify its portfolio of businesses after coming under pressure from an activist investor earlier this year.
The buyer, Platinum Equity, is the Los Angeles-based firm led by billionaire Tom Gores that has made more than 200 acquisitions and is currently making deals from its fourth multibillion-dollar investment fund. The company has several investments in Minnesota, including the ownership of some sizable hotels in the Twin Cities. Gores is also the owner of the Detroit Pistons.
Jostens is known for its school products and a corporate-incentives business whose clients include professional sports leagues. The company has produced rings for more than 30 of the 52 Super Bowl winners. Its overall revenue was $768 million in 2017, up from $700 million in 2014.
Jarden Corp. purchased Jostens in October 2015 for $1.5 billion from an investment group led by KKR. Just a few weeks after that deal was announced, Newell acquired Jarden, which also owned consumer-product brands such as Coleman, Mr. Coffee and Yankee Candle.
Newell Brands on Wednesday also sold its Pure Fishing business, a maker of fishing tackle and related products, to another investment firm, Sycamore Partners, for $1.3 billion.
"We have full confidence that these businesses will continue to thrive under new ownership," Michael Polk, Newell's chief executive, said in a statement announcing the transactions.
Otto Josten, a jewelry maker in Owatonna, formed the company in 1897 and started making class rings for schools in the Midwest in 1906. The company still has a sizable presence in Owatonna and in Eagan.
Chuck Mooty, a former executive for International Dairy Queen and Faribault Woolen Mill, has led Jostens as chief executive since 2014.