Promogram

Senator Acquired by Private Equity Firm

Senator GmbH & Co. KGaA, Europe’s number-one supplier of promotional ballpoint pens, has been sold to Perusa Partners, a private equity firm. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Senator was a subsidiary of Merz, a German pharmaceutical company. While Senator’s current management will remain in place, Michael Nick, Merz shareholder and supervisory board chairman for Senator, is leaving the supplier.

“We are convinced that the sale to Perusa is the right way to ensure the long-term development of Senator,” said Nick, last year’s Counselor’s International Person of the Year whose great-grandfather founded Merz in 1909 and Senator in 1920. “Thanks to its ability to generate high added-value and its modern machinery, Senator is well-equipped for the future. And with backing from a strong, strategically interested partner that will invest in the business and its people, Senator can enhance its market position and lay the foundations for further growth.”

Senator writing instruments were previously distributed in the U.S. by Beacon Promotions (asi/39250), but the companies discontinued their relationship at the beginning of this year following what Beacon President Gary Haley termed “mutual business reasons. We enjoyed and have a lot of respect for Michael Nick and his team.” Beacon is currently winnowing down its inventory of Senator pens. Prior to Beacon, Senator was previously carried in the U.S. by Camsing Global, but the companies terminated their agreement at the beginning of 2013.

With Nick’s departure, the German-based supplier will be headed by current CEO Dr. Ulf Osmers and new Co-Executive Officer Daniel Jeschonowski.

Based in Munich, Perusa specializes in medium-sized companies from German-speaking or Scandinavian countries. “Senator has an excellent reputation as a leading manufacturer of premium promotional products in Europe,” said Dr. Hanno Schmidt-Gothan, managing director of Perusa GmbH, which advises Perusa Partners. “We look forward to working with the teams in Gross-Bieberau and the foreign subsidiaries to strengthen the company’s core business and take it forward to further success.”

In announcing the sale, Merz said it will focus on its core competencies of aesthetics and neurotoxins.

Senator, which also produces drinkware and accessories, reported just under 50 million Euros in revenue for its 2014-2015 fiscal year. It employs 350 people worldwide.