CSFB buys Jostens from Investcorp

CSFB Private Equity has acquired the education memorabilia company from a consortium of Investcorp and MidOcean Partners in a deal worth $1.2bn.

(PrivateEquityCentral.net) CSFB Private Equity has agreed terms for the acquisition of education memorabilia company Jostens from global investment firm Investcorp for approximately $1.2bn.


Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank were retained in April to solicit bids for Jostens.


CSFB led the investment through its DLJ Merchant Banking Partners III, and affiliated funds. The firm will acquire Jostens for a cash consideration of approximately $48 per share of the 10.3m fully diluted common shares outstanding. The equity component of the deal is approximately $500m, and CSFB is also assuming Jostens long-term debt of $563.7m.


Jostens is currently 88 per cent owned by Investcorp, its co-investors and MidOcean Partners, formerly DB Capital Partners, the private equity arm of Deutsche Bank. The transaction is expected to close by September 30.


Investcorp led the buyout of Jostens in December 1999 for $25.25 per share in cash at premium of about 38 per cent, or approximately $826m, plus the assumption of about $100m in debt. Following the final close of the deal in May 2000, Jostens was 94 per cent owned by Investcorp and co-investors, and Jostens senior management. The equity component of the deal was $227m.


Founded in 1897 in Minneapolis, Jostens provides school-related affinity products and services including yearbooks, class rings, graduation products, school photography, and awards for athletes and fans. For the year ended December 28, 2002, Jostens had net sales of $756m, net income of $29.9m, and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of $160.9m.


Another private equity firm with a major stake in the education memorabilia sector is New York-based buyout firm Castle Harlan, which acquired class-ring and yearbook platform Commemorative Brands Holdings Corp in 1996 and used it as the basis for a build-and-buy strategy. Add-on acquisitions include Taylor Publishing, a publisher of school yearbooks that was acquired in 2000 for approximately $93m, and Educational Communications, a publisher of directories that “recognise academic achievement,” in April 2001.


CSFB Private Equity is the largest private equity manager in the world, with more than $28bn of assets under management.


Jostens is Investcorp’s first exit this year after a string of acquisitions. The firm, which maintains offices in New York, London and Bahrain, acquired a majority interest in German wireless communication test equipment manufacturer Willtek Communications in March, bought out recreation equipment and playground company PlayPower in February, and acquired Aero Products from Trivest for $231.5m and window manufacturer MW Manufacturers from New York-based Fenway Partners in January.