H.I.G.’s Circle Graphics Acquires Bay Photo

Circle Graphics, a portfolio company of H.I.G. Capital, has acquired Bay Photo.

Bay Photo is a provider of photographic prints and photo finishing services to professional photographers, artists, and other third-party channel partners. The company’s products include cards, calendars, prints, albums, books, and gifts.

Bay Photo was founded by Larry Abitbol in 1976 and is headquartered near Santa Cruz in Scotts Valley, California with an additional production facility in Springfield, Missouri.

Circle Graphics provides large format digital printing services to consumers, professionals, and businesses. The company goes to market through two divisions, Online Wall Décor and Out-of-Home. The Online Wall division provides made-to-order photos and pre-designed art images to consumers and professional photographers through direct-to-consumer websites and third party resellers. The Out-of-Home division provides large-format digital graphics to billboard operators, and signage to small and medium-sized businesses.

The buy of Bay Photo is the second add-on acquisition by Circle Graphics since being acquired by H.I.G. in October 2019. In January 2020, Circle Graphics acquired Metromedia Technologies, a New York-based provider of grand format (dimensions of more than 70 x 100 inches) digitally printed visuals used by billboard operators and advertisers. In addition to H.I.G., Circle Graphics’ prior private equity owners have included TA Associates, Housatonic Partners and Triple Creek Capital.

Circle Graphics, founded in 2000, has approximately 600 employees and is headquartered north of Denver in Longmont, Colorado, and has additional locations in North Carolina, California, Ohio, Virginia, and Missouri.

“The buy of Bay Photo enhances Circle’s presence in the professional photography and artist markets while expanding its product portfolio into the rapidly growing segments of metal prints, albums and photobooks,” said Andrew Cousin, chief executive officer of Circle Graphics. “The company has had a long and successful history under Larry’s leadership dating back to the 1970s, and we look forward serving as great stewards of his business going forward.”

“We are pleased to support Circle’s acquisition of Bay Photo,” said Ryan Kaplan, a managing director of H.I.G. Capital. “The investment further establishes Circle as a leader in the online wall décor market and continues our strategy of expanding Circle’s geographic reach and product diversification.”

H.I.G. specializes in providing debt and equity capital to small and medium-sized companies and invests in management buyouts, recapitalizations, and corporate carve-outs of both profitable as well as underperforming manufacturing and service businesses. Founded in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in more than 300 companies and has a current portfolio of 100 companies with combined sales in excess of $30 billion.

H.I.G. has $40 billion of equity capital under management and is headquartered in Miami with additional offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Stamford.

Private Equity Professional | September 4, 2020

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