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Jostens, maker of rings for starry-eyed students and NFL champs, sells for $1.3 billion

November 8, 2018

Jostens, the Bloomington-based producer of class rings, yearbooks and other school and corporate memorabilia, has been sold by its parent company, Newell Brands, to the investment firm Platinum Equity for $1.3 billion.

The deal, announced Wednesday, is part of an effort by Hoboken, N.J.-based Newell to simplify its portfolio of businesses.

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 global investment fund. The company has several investments in Minnesota, including the ownership of some sizable hotels in the Twin Cities.

Jostens is known for its school products as a corporate incentives business whose clients include professional sports leagues. The company is the maker of Super Bowl rings, for instance. It had revenue of $768 million in 2017.

Jostens started in Owatonna and it still has a sizable presence there and in Eagan.

Newell Brands on Wednesday also sold its Pure Fishing business, a maker of fishing tackle and related products, to another investment firm, Sycamore Equity, for $1.3 billion.

We have full confidence that these businesses will continue to thrive under new ownership, Michael Polk, Newells chief executive, said in a statement announcing the transactions. Newell has been under pressure from an activist investor that won a proxy fight earlier this year.

Newell acquired Jostens as part of its 2015 purchase of the Minnesota companys then-parent Jarden Corp. Newell at the time was known as the owner of Rubbermaid and, with Jarden, also picked up household name brands like Coleman, Mr. Coffee and Yankee Candle.

Evan Ramstad 612-673-4241

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