HALO Acquires Sunrise Identity

Sunrise Identity is the second Top 40 distributor that HALO Branded Solutions has acquired in less than a year.

In a Nutshell:
- Mitch Mounger, Sunrise CEO, will continue to run the business, which remains based in Bellevue, WA.
- Private equity-backed HALO has been aggressive in making acquisitions over the last two years.

HALO Branded Solutions (asi/356000), the third largest distributor in the promotional products industry by revenue, announced late Thursday that it has acquired fellow Top 40 distributor Sunrise Identity (asi/339206).

Bellevue, WA-based Sunrise is the second Top 40 distributor that HALO has acquired in less than year, the Sterling, IL-headquartered firm having purchased Caliendo Savio Enterprises (now “CSE Powered by HALO”) in a transaction announced in January. Financial terms of the deal between HALO and Sunrise Identity were not disclosed.

HALO’s vast operational capabilities, along with potential business synergies and compatible cultures, made joining forces with the top three firm an attractive proposition, said Sunrise Identity CEO Mitch Mounger, Counselor’s 2018 Distributor Entrepreneur of the Year.

“HALO will provide the resources necessary to expand our reach with our clients and key prospects and support the expansion of our creative and sourcing capabilities,” said Mounger. “Their centralized warehousing and kitting capabilities fill an important need as our business continues to grow. HALO’s client-focused culture will mesh well with the growing needs of our clients.”

At left: Marc Simon, CEO of HALO; At right: Mitch Mounger, CEO of Sunrise 

HALO CEO Marc Simon said that fast-growing Sunrise Identity is a high-performing distributorship with an impressive client roster of global brands that will not only benefit from HALO’s resources, but also increase the parent firm’s overall value proposition to end-buyers.

“Mitch Mounger and his team have built an exceptional business, and we appreciate their trust in HALO’s resources to continue their growth,” said Simon. “Our goal is to leverage the best practices of both HALO and Sunrise for the benefit of the valued clients of both organizations.”

Speaking to Counselor, Simon said that planning for the integration of HALO and Sunrise Identity has been underway for a while. “We are making our resources and capabilities available to the client services teams in a manner that allows them to decide what best serves their valued clients’ interests,” Simon told Counselor. “We believe our infrastructure and capital will support the efforts of the Sunrise Identity team to sustain their great momentum.”

Going forward, Sunrise Identity will now be known as “Sunrise Identity Powered by HALO.” Mounger will continue to run Sunrise’s business, which will remain based in Bellevue, WA.

In 2017, HALO Branded Solutions generated revenue of $416.4 million – a 47.5% increase over the previous year. Ranked 28th on Counselor’s Top 40 list, Sunrise Identity’s tally of $74.3 million was up 32% over 2016 – an increase propelled, in part, by the distributorship’s strategic leveraging of Amazon’s online marketplace to drive sales. Had the sales been combined under HALO’s umbrella that year, revenue would have been nearly $491 million, still third on Counselor’s list of the industry’s largest distributors behind Staples Promotional Products (asi/120601), which had estimated sales of $592.9 million, and leader 4imprint (asi/197045) and its sales of $608 million.

Over the last two years, HALO has been aggressive in making acquisitions. In addition to the Sunrise and CSE transactions, HALO has acquired distributor American Pacific Promotions, Catalyst Marketing, and Michael C. Fina Recognition – the latter a major player in the incentives and recognition space that has since been rebranded as HALO Recognition.

“HALO’s revenue growth continues both through our recent acquisitions and organically,” Simon told Counselor. “The pace of business has been particularly strong this year. The scale we are creating brings added capabilities that our entire team is leveraging to more nearly maximize the full potential of their opportunities.”

Private equity firms have backed HALO for about 15 years. In June, PE firm TPG Growth acquired HALO from Audax -- another PE company. According to its website, TPG Growth manages approximately $13.5 billion in assets across sectors that include media, technology, and industrials.