Executive Greetings greets changes

When San Francisco buyout firm Behrman Capital became the majority shareholder in $110 million Executive Greetings in September, it announced that the cataloger would serve as the platform for additional acquisitions. And Executive Greetings, which sells forms and greeting cards to small businesses, wasted no time. In November, it acquired $8 million Grand Prairie, TX-based SA-SO, a business-to-business direct marketer of customized safety signage. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SA-SO’s client base include hospitals, warehouses, and other businesses that place an emphasis on safety, says Lee Bracken, CEO of New Hartford, CT-based Executive Greetings. “About half of the products sold by SA-SO are personalized. It fits nicely with Executive Greetings because about 80% of our products are also personalized,” he says.

Behrman acquired its 60% stake in Executive Greetings from New York private equity firm Butler Capital for about $273 million in total financing, with approximately $60 million set aside for further acquisitions. Private equity firm Tandem Investments owns the remaining 40%.

Toward the end of Executive Greetings’ seven years with Butler, “the emphasis was not really on growth,” Bracken says, because Butler was readying to sell. “So circulation, especially prospecting, slowed. Now Behrman wants to focus on leveraging Executive’s strength as a direct marketing company by leveraging the cost structure and fulfillment side of the business.” In addition to seeking more acquisitions, he says, Behrman will allow Executive Greetings to increase circulation of its 19 titles.

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