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Acquisition Marks PCNA Entry Into Apparel Category
Vol. 808 
April 19, 2011

As first reported in a Breaking News Alert, Counselor Top 40 supplier Polyconcept North America (PCNA) has acquired Trimark Sportswear Group (asi/92122), an apparel supplier based in Ontario, Canada. While financial details of the transaction weren’t released, PCNA said it purchased a controlling interest in Trimark from Weston Presidio, a private equity investor. For PCNA, which is the parent company of Bullet (asi/42424), Journalbooks (asi/91340) and Leed’s (asi/66887), this deal marks its first move into the promotional apparel category. 

"Apparel was a natural next step for PCNA," said David Nicholson, president of PCNA, in an exclusive interview with Counselor. "We have significant experience in the category via our European division (PF Concept) and it is the largest category here in North America." Yann Leca, CEO of Polyconcept Supplier Group, said: "We could not have imagined a better way to enter North America's largest category, which we already lead in Europe with PF Concept. Trimark has proven category expertise and a strong market reputation. We will now have the opportunity to tap into each other's sourcing and product development capabilities, which will enrich both companies' offerings."

Nicholson confirmed that Trimark, which currently has 100 employees in its Richmond Hill, Ontario facility, will continue to operate as a separate entity with no change in its management or sales teams. Trimark's Chief Executive Officer, Derrick Milne, and President/Chief Operating Officer, Will Andrew, will continue to lead the organization and will serve on PCNA's management committee. Additionally, the Milne family and Andrew have increased their investment in the company as part of the transaction. All distributor programs, policies and terms will remain in place and there will be no change to Trimark's daily operations.

Milne told Counselor that Trimark and PCNA had actually first talked about a deal four years ago, and recently began talks again. "There is a great fit between our companies," said Milne. "The leadership position that Leed's in particular has enjoyed in the U.S. market is similar to the leadership position that we have in Canada on the apparel side. We will only strengthen relationships with our distributors by sharing information, best practices, purchasing power and decorating expertise with Polyconcept."

PCNA, which reported $320.1 million in 2010 North American ad specialty sales, ranked as the fourth-largest supplier on Counselor's Top 40 list last year. Trimark last appeared on the Counselor Top 40 in 2004, at which point it sold River's End Trading Company and focused its sales efforts entirely on the Canadian market.

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