GTCR latest in scrapbooking deal

Chicago-based GTCR Golder Rauner is the latest to jump on the scrapbooking bandwagon. The firm’s investment in EK Success is just one of many deals in the space in the past couple of years.

Count Chicago’s GTCR Golder Rauner as the latest to get taken by scrapbooking. The Chicago-based firm has agreed to acquire EK Success Ltd., a retailer of paper-based craft products and scrapbooking accessories. The transaction is expected to close in February of next year.

As scrapbooks have replaced photo albums as the preferred destination for pictures, private equity has jumped behind the trend.

EK, based in Clifton, New Jersey, sells products such as stickers, scrapbooking tools, albums, pens and other related products. The company also offers a number of proprietary product lines.

Private equity has been actively targeting the scrapbooking trend. Advent International this summer acquired Peterson PartnersMaking Memories, which followed other deals in the space from FdG Associates (Colorbk Inc.) and JW Childs Associates (Esselte), among others.

The upward momentum of scrapbooking has been drawing investors into the sector. In a statement, GTCR called attention to a “growing interest” in crafts in recent years, citing “double digit” growth in the $33 billion (€28 billion) space. Within the craft industry, scrapbooking accounts for around $2.6 billion.

Speaking about the deal, EK chief executive Chris Skinner commented on the sector’s expansion, and added that the GTCR investment could help the company harness the momentum. “GTCR’s financial support and experience will be invaluable as we continue to capitalise on growth opportunities in the scrapbooking and broader craft segment,” he said in a statement. 

No deal terms were made known, although it was indicated that Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein has been tapped to underwrite the debt financing for the deal.

Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel to GTCR, while EK Success was represented by Reed Smith. Banc of America Securities advised the seller on the deal.