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AIA Grows Southwest Presence With Acquisition
Vol. 815 
May 12, 2011

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As first reported in a Breaking News Alert, Counselor Top 40 distributor AIA Corporation (asi/109480) announced that it has acquired Houston-based Flagship Promotional Services (asi/376500). AIA said that it purchased Flagship’s assets and business, but no further financial terms of the deal were released.

For AIA, the acquisition means the addition of about 25 new affiliates to its sales organization, as well as increased coverage of the Southwest region. David Woods, CEO of AIA, told Counselor in an exclusive interview this morning that the two companies are a good fit. "I've known Dave DeGreeff, Flagship's president, for at least 15 years, and his company's business model and philosophy meshes really well with ours," Woods said. "We opened discussions before the end of last year and have been working on the deal for the last several months. This now gives AIA a solid presence in the Southwest area, which is attractive and growing rapidly."

As part of the deal, DeGreeff will now become an executive at AIA, initially charged with integrating the two companies. "I have always had the utmost respect for David Woods and AIA," DeGreeff said. "Their business model shows the same respect of the industry distributors and suppliers that we have practiced at Flagship. This will ensure the Flagship distributors the same kind of personal service and attention that they have received from Flagship during the past seven years."

AIA said that it had about 320 franchisees and affiliates before this acquisition, and the distributor organization reported North American sales of $108 million in 2010. Woods said that prior to this deal AIA has shown strong organic growth in both 2010 and the beginning of 2011. The company has increased its revenues by about 16% over the first four months of 2011, and Woods told Counselor that he expects the Flagship acquisition to add about $10 million to $12 million in annual revenue to AIA's total.

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