WHEELING, I.L. and DURHAM, N.C. - Versa Capital Management, Inc. (Versa) announced today completion of its previously publicized acquisition of the assets of Böwe Bell + Howell and the formation of a new company and brand, Bell and Howell, LLC. The company will be led by a new board of directors, while George Marton will continue to lead the senior management team. The new Bell and Howell includes all existing operations in North America including BCC Software in Rochester, N.Y. and Bell and Howell Canada.
"After an extraordinary few months for our organization, we have the best of both worlds: a business with a long history and yet a completely fresh start," said George Marton, President and CEO of Bell and Howell. "We have been overwhelmed by the positive support from the market and our customers, and our suppliers have demonstrated that they want to partner with us for years to come. None of this could have happened without the passion and commitment from all employees, whose knowledge and talent are second to none: I send them my sincerest thanks for all of their hard work.
"Now we look forward to continuing our mission: to help customers succeed by providing them with the right solutions, services, and expertise. In support of that, I am pleased to report that we are sharpening our strategy and driving operational efficiencies throughout the organization. In addition, we have several exciting new solutions that we will be announcing shortly. Along with the launch of our new company and brand, we couldn't be more excited about the future."
In meeting with a group of Bell and Howell employees recently, Board Chairman Greg Segall of Versa Capital Management noted, "The new Bell and Howell has all of its distractions behind them - and the products and service and solutions are now the sole focus of the business. The ability to focus on customers and their needs, and focus on products, is going to be a huge step towards the company obtaining a high level of success."
Philadelphia-based Versa Capital Management, Inc. is a private equity investment firm with $950 million of committed capital under management. Co-investing in the transaction is Access Value Investors (AVI), a Chicago-based private equity firm affiliated with AEG Partners LLC, which is providing transformation consulting services to Bell and Howell.
The new company has strong and stable financing, with substantial capital from Versa and a $60 million credit facility led by PNC Bank and Crystal Financial to support the growth and working capital needs of the organization.