Snow Phipps Adds Two to Brook & Whittle

Brook & Whittle, a portfolio company of Snow Phipps, has agreed to acquire sister companies Innovative Labeling Solutions and Wizard Labels.

Brook & Whittle is a Connecticut-headquartered manufacturer of pressure-sensitive labels, shrink labels and medical packaging that is used in the non-carbonated beverage, food, and personal care industries. The company’s printing capabilities include UV flexographic, rotogravure and digital.

Brook & Whittle operates seven production facilities in Connecticut (2), New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Tennessee, and California.

Innovative Labeling Solutions (ILS) and Wizard Labels are similar to Brook & Whittle and manufacture pressure sensitive and shrink sleeve labels used in the craft beverage, nutraceuticals, food, household, and personal care segments. Ohio-headquartered ILS was founded by Jay Dollries and Steve Wolf in 1996, and Colorado-headquartered Wizard was founded by Mr. Dollries and Steve Smith in 2013.

“We are thrilled to acquire leading providers of digital and custom online prime label solutions in North America. The founders of ILS and Wizard Labels have built remarkable companies that are exceptionally well-positioned for growth and we are incredibly excited for them to join Brook & Whittle as significant shareholders,” said Mark Pollard, CEO of Brook & Whittle.

Mr. Dollries, who is the current CEO of ILS, will help transition the ILS platform to Brook & Whittle and will become an advisor, shareholder, and board member of Brook & Whittle. “Jay has driven remarkable growth at ILS over its long history, and we are extremely excited for him to help us craft our future digital strategy,” added Mr. Pollard.

“There is a significant benefit in the application of the ILS and Wizard Labels business model across Brook & Whittle,” said Don Sturdivant, an operating partner at Snow Phipps. “Brook & Whittle, ILS, and Wizard Labels all focus on similar growth-oriented end markets and product categories, namely pressure sensitive and shrink sleeve. We are eager to combine our efforts to collectively better serve our growing customer base.”

The buys of ILS and Wizard are the fourth and fifth add-on transactions by Brook & Whittle since being acquired by Snow Phipps in October 2017.  The three earlier buys were Missouri-based Prime Package & Label in November 2018; a shrink sleeve facility in Pennsylvania in May 2020; and California-based Label Impressions in June 2020.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with ILS and Wizard Labels and are very enthusiastic about our future together,” said Gerald Sheehan, a partner at Snow Phipps. “These acquisitions will further enhance Brook & Whittle’s position as a leading provider of high-end labels across North America.”

New York City-based Snow Phipps makes control investments in companies primarily located in North America with enterprise values ranging from $100 million to $500 million that require equity investments ranging from $50 million to $150 million. Sectors of interest include industrials, services, and consumer. The firm was co-founded by Ian Snow and Ogden Phipps in April 2005.

Cincinnati-based and privately-held RKCA Investment Banking was the financial advisor to ILS and Wizard Labels. RKCA specializes in middle-market transactions and has boutique practice areas in healthcare staffing and tech-enabled business services.

The closing of the acquisitions of ILS and Wizard are expected by mid-November.

Private Equity Professional | October 9, 2020

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