Company Receives Major Capital Investment for Growth
DALLAS, Oct. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- For more than a century, American Achievement Corporation has provided products that mark special moments and achievements in people's lives. Now, with new ownership, the company has solid financial stability, capital for product and technical innovation, plus investment to help grow the family of brands. The new parent company name, Balfour & Co., sets the bar for the industry with digital and traditional product innovation by helping students and their families celebrate the most meaningful moments in their lives. As a result of new ownership and several mergers, Balfour & Co. is one of the largest commencement services companies for schools, students and parents. The company operates throughout North America with around 5,000 team members.
Leveraging the longevity and solid foundation of the company's largest brand Balfour, the new corporate name Balfour & Co., brings together all seven brands as one company and replaces the previous American Achievement and Iconic Group parent company names. As a single company, Balfour & Co. will provide the highest quality custom class jewelry, yearbooks, graduation caps and gowns, commencement photography, announcements and apparel for the industry.
As announced in March, the investor group — led by an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. ("Cerberus") — has become the majority equity holder of the company. A recent large capital investment by its new owners has positioned Balfour & Co. for not only financial stability, but also a successful long-term growth strategy. This additional capital investment was in addition to its new line of credit from the new owners. Due to the recent strong performance, this capital is not currently being utilized but is available for key investments in the future such as its ongoing digital reinvention, production innovation, a new manufacturing facility, operational excellence, and strategic acquisitions to drive long-term growth.
Chief Executive Officer Ryan Esko assumed his role in March 2021 and is working with the executive leadership team to build a very strong but nimble organization. Esko has a proven track record, leading consumer, fashion, and retail companies to record sales, customer satisfaction and profits. Along with its current executive team, the company recently hired a new Chief Operating Officer Dean Coulson, Vice President of Training and Deployment Rachelle Aikens, Vice President of E-Commerce and Product Merchandising Natasha Bacon, and Chief Information Officer Aravind Kashyap, to add to its team. Balfour & Co. also plans to hire additional talent in all aspects of its corporate operations to invest in its strategic plans.
"Bringing our various businesses together under one corporate name (Balfour & Co.) fits our strategy of teamwork and delivering excellence to our customers every day. The further investment by our new owners gives us the fuel to deliver excellence, to further innovate, and launch our next phase of growth," Esko said.
In addition to the large capital infusion, Balfour & Co. has beaten the sales and earnings budget for fiscal year 2021. "We are so appreciative of our loyal customers, schools, employees, and product representatives for their support and unwavering trust in us," Esko said. Given this major investment in the brand, Balfour & Co. plans to be here for them for the long-haul.
For more information visit www.balfour.com.
About Balfour & Co.
Formerly known as American Achievement Corporation and Iconic Group, Balfour & Co. is one of the largest commencement services companies leading the industry in digital product innovation by helping students and their families celebrate the most meaningful moments in their lives. Operating under the Balfour®, GradImages®, University Photo®, Gaspard®, ArtCarved®, KeepSake® and Taylor Publishing Company®, the Company provides personalized products such as class jewelry and apparel, yearbooks, graduation caps and gowns, announcement products and photography through digital marketing technology, personal in-school deliveries and customized school assortments. To learn more visit Balfour.com, the destination for Graduation products, and GradImages.com, the industry's largest commencement photography platform.
Founded in 1992, Cerberus is a global leader in alternative investing with approximately $50 billion in assets across complementary credit, private equity, and real estate strategies. We invest across the capital structure where our integrated investment platforms and proprietary operating capabilities create an edge to improve performance and drive long-term value. Our tenured teams have experience working collaboratively across asset classes, sectors, and geographies to seek strong risk-adjusted returns for our investors. For more information about our people and platforms, visit us at www.cerberus.com.
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SOURCE Balfour & Co.