Investment in Cartridge World Completed
Blackford Capital, a national private equity firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has finalised its investment in the US business of Cartridge World North America through the purchase of the brand licensing rights covering the United States territory.
Rod Young (pictured, left), the Global CEO and Director of Cartridge World told RT Media, “I am delighted and excited about this new license arrangement.” He added, “This means franchise owners in the US will become part of a major industry consolidation occurring in the world’s largest imaging market.” Young expects the new arrangement will flow to every part of the Cartridge World network across the world. Young supplied a letter dated December 23 which was sent to all Cartridge World franchise owners around the world.
Headquartered in McHenry, Illinois, the Cartridge World US business operates nearly 230 franchised retail store locations. The CEO of Cartridge World North America, Mark Pinner (pictured, right), agrees with Young. He believes Blackford and its operating partners will bring a tremendous amount of industry experience to the table in addition to their strategic, financial, and operational experience. “We are excited to partner with Blackford and benefit from the firm’s 20-plus years of industry experience; they will serve as an extremely valuable resource to both Cartridge World and our franchisee network. The firm will help facilitate supply chain improvements critical to our refocused, service-oriented business model, as we continue to develop and grow our network and product options to the ultimate benefit of our customers and franchise owners.”
“We are not selling off the assets,” Rod Young told RT Media. “Cartridge World Australia Pty Ltd continues to own the brand. The granting of this license and the assignment of the US Franchise Agreements to Cartridge World USA, LLC will not change the relationship between Cartridge World Australia Pty Ltd and Cartridge World North America, LLC.” He went on to explain Cartridge World in the US will remain part of the worldwide Cartridge World network and these developments will strengthen the US and global network and contribute to further growth. “The CWNA support team at McHenry will transition to Cartridge World USA, LLC and the grant of the Cartridge World License to our new US licensee will not impact your agreement with Cartridge World Australia Pty Ltd.”
According to Martin Stein (pictured, top, right), the founding managing director of Blackford, the Cartridge World story is remarkable and he too is excited about “expanding its reputation as the world’s largest ink and toner retailer to provide full-service print solutions with a continued focus on customer service.” Stein added that the new license arrangements will add to “our leadership platform within the imaging supplies space.” Blackford intends to help franchisees grow their respective businesses by capitalizing on certain business model changes and taking advantage of key industry trends, such as bundling hardware and supplies, establishing longer-term contracts with customers, and focusing on the small and home office markets.
About Blackford Capital
Founded in 2000, Blackford Capital is a private equity investment firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Blackford Capital makes majority control investments in founder and family-owned, lower middle-market manufacturing, distribution, and services companies. Currently, Blackford Capital has eleven portfolio companies. Blackford and their team members have received a number of recognitions over the past several years, including M&A Adviser Private Equity Firm of the year, Corp. Magazine Small Company of the Year (Michigan), GR Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year (West Michigan), numerous recognitions on the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private companies list and M&A Adviser Private Equity Professional of the Year (Martin Stein). For more information, visit blackfordcapital.com.
About Cartridge World
Cartridge World is the global leader in multi-brand, high-quality printers, printer cartridges, printer service and advice for both the home, office and business customer. Cartridge World offers all customers tremendous cost-saving printing options, with their exclusive Cartridge World branded consumables reducing average printing costs by 30% compared to full-priced OEM cartridges and a 100-per cent product and service satisfaction guarantee. Cartridge World has more than 600 franchised retail locations in over 30 countries. In the past 5 years, Cartridge World has ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 list and on Franchise Direct’s list of the Top 100 Global Franchises and by the Silicon Review as one of the ’50 Most Admired Companies’.
Cartridge World is the largest international retail brand in the aftermarket imaging supplies industry. In its early days in the United States, Cartridge World was selected as the top franchisor in the United States for three years in a row: 2007, 2008, and 2009. Internationally, the brand has locations in over 30 different countries across the globe. For more information, visit www.cartridgeworld.com
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