Platinum Adds Harvard to PLI
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Platinum Adds Harvard to PLI

PLI Card Marketing Solutions, a portfolio company of Platinum Equity since June 2018, has acquired Harvard Card Systems. This is the first add-on completed by PLI under Platinum ownership.

Harvard produces a range of plastic card products for more than 2,500 customers that are active in the gifting, hospitality, entertainment, retail and gas, transportation, access control, government, and healthcare sectors. The company’s products include gift cards, membership cards, loyalty cards, refill cards, hotel key cards, pre-paid subscription cards, transit cards, library cards, phone cards, gaming cards, casino cards and private label credit cards.

Harvard provides in-house product design, specialty printing, magnetic striping, cutting, coating, personalization, affixing, packaging and shipping. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in City of Industry, CA (www.harvardcardsystems.com).

PLI is a provider of gift, loyalty and membership card marketing services, including card production, personalization, fulfillment, direct mail and print services. The company is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hotel keycards and a vendor to major hotel operators like Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt. PLI manufactures cards from a variety of materials and produces more than 1.6 billion cards annually. The company has more than 1,000 employees nationwide and 450,000 square feet of total manufacturing space in four facilities in North Las Vegas, NV (headquarters); Asheville, NC; Romeoville, IL; and St. Louis, MO. PLI, led by CEO Peter Krauss, also has distribution facilities in Canada and the Netherlands (www.plicards.com).

“Harvard has a comprehensive product offering, a large and diverse customer base, and a history of growth that goes back more than 20 years,” said Mr. Krauss. “The company has a proven track record of innovation that will help bolster our technology and manufacturing platforms. We are thrilled to welcome Harvard to the PLI family.”

Platinum Equity acquired PLI in June 2018 as the firm began investing from Platinum Equity Small Cap Fund LP, a $1.5 billion buyout fund focused on investment opportunities in the lower middle market. This fund closed in July 2018.

“PLI is a great platform and we are moving quickly to help the company grow,” said Platinum Equity Partner Jacob Kotzubei. “We have created a rich pipeline of M&A opportunities with an emphasis on related and complementary product offerings, geographic reach, and opportunities to elevate PLI’s automation and technology capabilities. At the same time, our operations team is working closely with PLI to install best practices throughout the organization and will ensure a seamless integration with Harvard and any additional acquisitions that follow.”

Platinum Equity invests in a range of industries including manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics, equipment rental, metals services, media and entertainment, technology, and telecommunications. The firm is currently investing from Platinum Equity Capital Partners IV, a $6.5 billion buyout fund which closed in March 2017 and Platinum Equity Small Cap Fund, a $1.5 billion buyout fund which closed in July 2018. Platinum Equity has completed more than 200 acquisitions since its founding in 1995. The firm is headquartered in Beverly Hills (www.platinumequity.com).

Lincoln International (www.lincolninternational.com) was the financial advisor to Harvard on the transaction.

© 2018 Private Equity Professional | October 23, 2018

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