The Belgian privately owned group Cartamundi has signed an agreement to purchase The United States Playing Card Company (USPC) from its parent company Newell Brands. The playing cards maker’s focus is on North America and Spain. Through this acquisition, Cartamundi continues to invest in the global entertainment market.
USPC is the owner of iconic playing card brands such as Bicycle, Bee, Hoyle and Fournier. The business employs more than 350 people and has manufacturing facilities in the U.S. city of Erlanger, Kentucky and the Spanish city of Vitoria, Álava. In 2018, USPC’s net sales were estimated at $112 million.
“We are excited about the opportunity and look forward to welcoming The United States Playing Card Company to the Cartamundi group,” said Stefaan Merckx, CEO of Cartamundi. “USPC is a globally renowned company and, like us, has a passion for its products and consumers. The segments in which USPC operates are perfectly complementary to those of Cartamundi. This investment will further deliver on Cartamundi’s purpose of sharing the magic of playing together towards consumers worldwide.”
“We are delighted about the prospect to join forces with Cartamundi and leverage both companies’ rich history and passion of card making, as well as our complementary global presence. We look forward to working together in furthering our shared ambition to delight consumers across the globe,” said Michael Slaughter, CEO of USPC.
This acquisition ties into Cartamundi’s plans to expand its geographic reach through new countries and new channels. USPC is a strong player in the growing cardistry, casino and specialty playing cards segments. The combined company will employ 2,500 people and operate 13 state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities across four continents. Cartamundi plans to adhere to its commitment to the local economy and the environment. “Consumers from different regions have different needs,” said Merckx. “The best way to serve them is to rely on the knowledge and experience of our local teams.”
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
Alta Capital Partners acted as financial advisor and Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP acted as legal advisor to Cartamundi on the transaction.