HALO Acquires Incentives Firm

As first reported this week in a Breaking News Alert, Top 40 distributor HALO Branded Solutions (asi/356000) has acquired Michael C. Fina Recognition. HALO will maintain Michael C. Fina Recognition’s New York office, administrative center and management team, including members of the Fina family, which has operated the company for three generations. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

HALO CEO Marc Simon characterized the acquisition as a win-win for both companies. “We plan to build the Michael C. Fina Recognition business through synergy – offering technology-driven employee recognition and incentive solutions to HALO clients through our account executives, and providing Michael C. Fina Recognition clients with competitive and creative promotional solutions,” he said.

According to Simon, HALO was attracted to Michael C. Fina Recognition for the strength of the firm’s solutions, global service and market leadership. “Michael C. Fina Recognition is one of the most reputable recognition companies globally, maintaining an experienced and success-driven management team,” Simon said.

Ashley Fina, president and CEO of Michael C. Fina, said she is excited about the growth potential that comes from joining HALO. “We have spent many months working with the HALO team to identify areas of growth for both firms, relying on the expertise each brings to the table,” Fina said. “Today is a big win for the clients of both HALO and Michael C. Fina Recognition.”

In expanding on details about the acquisition with Counselor, HALO Senior VP of Marketing Terry McGuire noted that Michael C. Fina Recognition is not a supplier to other ad specialty distributors. Rather, the firm works directly with major global brands, utilizing proprietary software, in-house production, and major retail brands to provide a selection of rewards for individual milestones. Further, McGuire said that HALO has not acquired Michael C. Fina’s retail division. Operating as an online merchant that specializes in selling fine china, sterling silver, jewelry, bridal registry services and more, the retail division continues to be owned by the Fina family, McGuire said.

The announcement of the Michael C. Fina acquisition comes only about a week after HALO revealed it had acquired Seattle-based Catalyst Marketing (asi/159067). As part of that deal, HALO plans to maintain Catalyst’s sales offices and graphic design capabilities, but will transfer selective administrative and support functions to HALO’s Illinois headquarters.

Counselor ranks HALO Branded Solutions as the fifth largest distributor in the industry with 2015 North American promotional product sales of $249.6 million. The distributorship isn’t the only promotional products company keen to make acquisitions of late. At least 12 other merger and acquisition deals have been announced within the industry since the turn of the year, outpacing the M&A activity that occurred during the comparable period in 2016.