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Ed Marino President of Wilde on the Universal WIlde merger

Published on June 6, 2011

Wilde President Ed Marino discusses the merger of Wilde with Universal and the new opportunities from his perspective.

Cary Sherburne: Hi. I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Ed Marino who is President of Wilde.

Ed Marino: Great name, huh?

Cary: Wilde, yeah. And I hear you’ve got some pretty exciting news to announce.

Ed: We do, we do. A portion of Wilde’s business is being sold to Universal which is a large regional printer in the Northeast and it is an extraordinary strategic fit. And we’re very excited about it from the standpoint of both our customers, our employees, and the industry.

Cary: So I understand each of the companies has somewhere in the range of 300 employees…

Ed: That’s right.

Cary: And that’ll be 600?

Ed: Well no, actually about 200 will transfer because Wilde has other businesses that it’s involved in. But about 200 of those employees will transfer as part of this along with our production assets.

Cary: And are you leaving the production assets where they are, because you’re in two different cities.

Ed: Well we are, but we’re geographically quite close, all within the confines of Boston; but we are—yes, we are leaving the buildings in place. We have three buildings in the Holliston, Massachusetts area and all three will be leased by Universal. The concept was the people remain the same, the facilities remain the same, and the services get better.

Cary: Okay. And the name is still going to be…

Ed: We’re going to use the Wilde brand, yes—Universal, excuse me, will use the Wilde brand. The Wilde brand has a strong reputation in the area, a marquis customer base, and it would be a great leverage point for Universal who themselves have a great name. So the combination of the two businesses should be very, very appealing to customers.

Cary: And because, you know, you’ve described yourself as about halfway along in the transition to a marquis services provider but I think personally, from what I’ve seen, you’re a lot further than that but what do I know; I don’t do it every day. But so I mean I can see clearly from where they are on the continuum versus where you are on the continuum what the benefits to Universal are. What would be the benefit to Wilde because you guys are doing great?

Ed: Yeah, we’re doing well. The strategic benefit to Wilde is it gives us an opportunity to concentrate on those other businesses that I was referring to. But in addition to that the Wilde family has a very, very strong affinity for its customers and its employees. We felt that by a merger with a larger organization more and better opportunities opened up for both employees and customers. In today’s market you have to invest; you need the critical mass to do that and to progress. We believe Universal gives that capability to the Wilde—that side of Wilde’s business, and then gives us equally an opportunity to focus on our other businesses.

Cary: And so will it be Wilde, a Universal company? I mean they’re going to maintain their brand, right, too?

Ed: Correct. I will leave it to them to figure out exactly how the branding goes. But yes, the name that customers will continue to see in the marketplace is the Wilde name. Even though it may be attached as a unit of, the brand will still be the Wilde brand, and Universal will retain the www.wilde.com website.

Cary: And then for you, personally, what’s next?

Ed: Well, like I said, there are other businesses at Wilde to work on and I’m committed to helping the owners at Wilde grow those businesses in the fashion that we’ve grown the Wilde Solutions Group side of the business.

Cary: So you’ll still be a Wilde guy.

Ed: I’m a Wilde guy. I was a wild guy before I got there.

Cary: Yeah, we knew that. Great. Well congratulations.

Ed: Well thank you, Cary; it’s a great time.

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