National Pen

Cimpress N.V. (Nasdaq: CMPR) is acquiring National Pen Co. LLC, a provider of customized writing tools, for nearly $218 million in cash. The deal is expected to close by year end 2016.

National Pen is a San Diego, California-based manufacturer of personalized marketing products. The target, founded in 1996, customizes pens and writing tools, bags, drinkware, calendars, and other stationery products for more than one million small and medium-sized businesses. National Pen distributes products through both direct mail and telesales. As part of the deal, the target will continue to use existing distribution channel and will also utilize Cimpress’ Vistaprint, Upload and Print e-commerce brands. Cimpress estimates National Pen’s revenue for calendar year 2016 to be approximately $275 million.

“We believe National Pen has meaningful scale-based sourcing and production advantages which drive great customer value,” states Cimpress CEO Robert Keane. “The company also has strong competencies in direct marketing, telesales and data analytics, which have contributed to the consistent growth of its revenue.”

Cimpress also provides customized marketing materials and printed products for small businesses and personal use. The buyer, based in Lexington, Massachusetts, focuses on leveraging mass customization to allow consumers to buy custom products in low volumes at an affordable price. Cimpress distributes its products under a portfolio of more than 20 e-commerce brands such as: Vistaprint, Albelli, Drukwerkdeal, Pixartprinting, and Exaprint.

The demand for e-commerce businesses has been a driving force for M&A in 2016. E-commerce has specifically been putting pressure on traditional merchants who have been struggling to keep up with changing consumer behavior. The bankruptcies of AeropostaleAmerican Apparel and Sports Authority are examples of retailers who miscalculated the importance of e-commerce and online distribution. DLA Piper is acting as legal counsel to Cimpress.

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