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Avery Grows by Absorbing Similar Businesses

 Avery Dennison Corp. completed four acquisitions this year, with the biggest coming over the summer.

That was when the Glendale label and packaging materials manufacturer bought Vestcom for $1.45 billion. It closed on the transaction at the end of August. 

Vestcom’s products include stackz pre-cut, pre-sorted self-adhering shelf labels; shelfStrips shelf-edge planogram displays; adSigns signage kits; and shelfAdz branded marketing displays.

Headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., the company most recently brought in about $400 million in revenue. It has 11 U.S. production facilities and about 1,200 employees, with sales across multiple U.S. retail channels, including grocery, drug, and dollar stores, Avery said in a release.

Mitch Butier, chief executive of Avery, called Vestcom a high performing business that is a near adjacency to the Avery retail branding and information solutions business (RBIS) segment. 

“With this acquisition, we are expanding our position in high-value categories and adding complementary channel access and data management capabilities that have the potential to further accelerate our intelligent labels strategy,” Butier said in a statement. 

Avery Dennison RBIS provides labels for apparel and footwear industry products, including graphic tickets, tags and labels, embellishments and packaging solutions that enhance consumer appeal as well as radio frequency identification to prevent loss and monitor inventory. 

Based in Westborough, Mass., Avery Dennison RBIS has operations in 115 locations in 50 countries on six continents.

Deon Stander, general manager of RBIS, said that Vestcom was a strong strategic fit for the division with a well-established base of long-term customers.

“It has a long history of continuous innovation and delivering products and services with strong value propositions and clear, measurable return on investment for its customers,” Stander said in a statement. “It has consistently adhered to a proven growth strategy executed by an excellent management team.”

John Lawlor, chief executive of Vestcom, said the acquisition marked a significant milestone in the history of the company and he looked forward to the next chapter in its growth trajectory. 

“The capabilities of Avery Dennison will enable Vestcom to further accelerate innovation and continue delivering high-value solutions that drive sales and productivity for retailers and (consumer packaged goods),” Lawlor said in a statement. “And we look forward to bringing our expertise and data integration capabilities to new channels and markets with Avery Dennison.”

Tape business

Two of the other acquisitions done by Avery this year were of similar companies, while the third was of a more tech-oriented business.

In January, the company bought ACPO Ltd., an Ohio-based manufacturer of pressure-sensitive labels and industrial tapes, for $87.6 million.

The Glendale manufacturer took control of ACPO’s assets including its coating, finishing and distribution operations at its headquarters in Oak Harbor, Ohio and three distribution centers in Atlanta; Vancouver, Wash.; and Oak Creek, Wis. 

Prior to the Avery Dennison buyout, ACPO was owned by holding company Esperia Holdings in Oak Harbor, Ohio.

In March, the company closed on the acquisition of JDC Solutions Inc., a manufacturer of pressure-sensitive specialty tapes in Mount Juliet, Tenn, for $24 million.

JDC brought in revenue of about $30 million a year by selling its products to customers in the automotive, appliance and construction industries.

And also in March, Avery acquired ZippyYum, an Orange County startup that sells software and hardware for operational automation and inventory management for food retailers. The price was not disclosed.

With approximately $6 million in annual revenue and a customer base that aligns well with Avery Dennison’s Freshmarx business, ZippyYum will become part of the company’s RBIS segment. Freshmarx is an Avery product line for food companies that enables tracking from the farm to the store or restaurant. 

The ZippyYum acquisition will drive growth of the broader RFID platform through automation and transparency in the supply chain as the food industry continues to adopt intelligent label technology, Avery said in a release at the time of the acquisition. 

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