Riverside Advertises Latest Exit September 03, 2013
Private Equity Firm Sells Promotional Products Specialist
The Riverside Company has sold AIA Corporation (AIA). Based in Neenah, Wisconsin, AIA provides a wide variety of promotional products and corporate apparel through roughly 300 affiliates in the U.S. AIA’s offerings range from branded pens and tote bags to higher-end corporate branded gifts. AIA’s independent franchises work with clients to promote brands and build companies’ images through creative promotional products and campaigns.
“By providing excellent backend support and innovative sales and marketing ideas for affiliates, AIA was able to attract franchisees to drive growth throughout our hold period, and their excellent service and value helped them retain more than 90% of customers on a consistent basis,” said Riverside Managing Partner Loren Schlachet.
Riverside invested in AIA in 2005. During the course of Riverside’s ownership, AIA significantly grew by developing an industry-leading technology platform to support its affiliates and significantly increasing the size and sophistication of AIA’s Affiliate program for individual salespeople and industry distributors. Riverside also completed one add-on acquisition that added customers and capabilities to AIA during the hold.
AIA’s growth has been even more pronounced since 2009, as it has doubled its total franchisees and sales affiliates in that time. For the entire Riverside hold period, AIA’s employee headcount increased 36%, a further testament to the vitality of the company.
“It’s been rewarding to help AIA become bigger and better over the past eight years,” said Riverside Principal Brian Sauer. “AIA has a great management team that shared our goals and worked with us to make AIA thrive.”
AIA CEO David Woods enjoyed the partnership with Riverside.
“We got results through working with Riverside because they took the time to understand our culture, and worked side-by-side with us to achieve our shared vision for the company,” said Woods. “The last eight years have been a pleasure, and we’re poised for sustained future growth thanks to the support of the Riverside team.”
Working with Schlachet and Sauer on the transaction for Riverside were Assistant Vice President Brad Resnick, Associate Danielle Leimbach, and Operating Executive – Finance, Kim Katzenberger. Managing Partner, Global Executive Operating Partner Ron Sansom led the Operating team on the deal. Origination Principal Amy Margolis helped facilitate the sale for Riverside.
Cleary Gull and Jones Day advised Riverside on the sale of AIA to McNally Capital.
The Riverside Company
The Riverside Company is a global private equity firm focused on acquiring growing businesses valued at up to $250 million (€200 million in Europe). Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 310 transactions. The firm’s international portfolio includes more than 70 companies.