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PrintGlobe Acquires Absorbent Ink
Volume 677
January 12, 2010

PrintGlobe Inc. has announced that it has purchased the assets of Absorbent Ink (asi/295819), which was named by Counselor as one of 2009’s top 10 fastest-growing distributors in the ad specialty industry. "The histories of our two companies are very similar," Dan Steinbourn, president and CEO of PrintGlobe, told Counselor. "We were both locally oriented branding firms. We both have a lot of experience doing face-to-face branding consultations, and really understanding the level at which customers need service and personalization."
Based in Austin, TX, PrintGlobe executives approached Absorbent Ink in early October and completed a deal by mid-December, beating out several other firms, according to Steinbourn. The financial terms of the acquisition were not released. "We’ve always been impressed with Absorbent Ink," Steinbourn says. "So when we learned that they closed their doors, we got in touch with them to discuss ways to work together. And what we arrived at was the more we looked, the better it looked, and the more excited we were."
PrintGlobe will retain the Absorbent Ink name and online portal as an independent brand. "There’s still a lot of brand equity with Absorbent Ink, a very long history, a lot of clients who know and love Absorbent Ink, so we didn’t really believe that it made sense to diminish their brand and value," says Steinbourn. The Absorbent Ink brand will be run from PrintGlobe’s offices; two Absorbent Ink employees, including President Lee Eldridge, will stay on with the company. Adds Steinbourn: "Lee is going to be heavily involved in the Absorbent Ink domain."
Steinbourn says the two companies together have combined revenues of $10 million. He says the brands will overlap in some client markets, and that Absorbent Ink will retain its "exceptionally strong" presence in the corporate gifts market. PrintGlobe was founded by Steinbourn in 2000 and has earned a spot on "The Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America" list the past three years. Absorbent Ink, formerly based out of Lawrence, KS, demonstrated 63% growth between 2006 and 2008 and was twice recognized by Inc. as one of the 500 fastest growing privately held companies in the country. Absorbent Ink is also a former recipient of the Counselor "Best Places to Work" designation.

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