As first reported in a Breaking News Alert yesterday, Taylor Corporation has emerged as the top bidder in a bankruptcy court auction to acquire Top 40 distributor Standard Register (asi/333647). A Delaware bankruptcy judge late yesterday approved the sale of Standard Register’s assets to Taylor after Taylor submitted the winning bid of $307 million, according to attorneys in the case.
Taylor Corp. is the parent company of Top 40 supplier Taylor Promotional Products and Top 40 distributor Amsterdam Printing (asi/121500), and now will grow its distributor operations even further with the addition of another Top 40 company. “While Standard Register has encountered financial challenges, I have no doubt its best days are ahead,” said Deb Taylor, Taylor Corp.’s CEO and the niece of Glen Taylor, chairman of Taylor, which also owns the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. “Together we’ll have the scale and talent we need to pursue new market opportunities through a broader range of technology offerings, products and services.”
It was not immediately clear how Taylor intends to operate Standard Register moving forward, but Deb Taylor did say that Taylor would be adding Standard Register’s employees to its workforce. The sale of Standard Register was necessitated after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March to its financial state, which included debts of nearly $184 million worth of loans to complete the acquisition of WorkflowOne, a former Top 40 distributor.
Shortly after that, the company announced it had agreed to be purchased by equity firm Silver Point Capital, but that deal was subject to a court auction. That auction reportedly happened on Monday, and court documents shows that Taylor agreed to bid $2 million more than the other top bidders.
Final approval of the sale is subject to resolution of outstanding objections by various creditors and the settlement of a complaint filed against Silver Point by Standard Register’s official creditors committee. According to that objection by Standard Register’s unsecured creditors, Silver Point and Taylor were the only bidders at the auction on Monday. Silver Point was initially selected as the winning bidder following the auction, but following negotiations it was announced Taylor increased its bid by $2 million and the equity firm agreed to allow Taylor to be the top bidder, according to court documents.
The committee of unsecured creditors has filed several objections to the sale, including a claim that Silver Point, an already large investor in Standard Register, “chilled the sale process” and kept other potential buyers away from making bids. Based in Dayton, OH, Standard Register reported to Counselor that its 2014 North American ad specialty sales were $118.8 million, a year-over-year increase of about 6%.
Separate Taylor Corp. divisions ranked as the 15th-largest supplier and the 15th-largest distributor in the industry last year. Taylor Promotional Products, its supplier firm, reported to Counselor that it attained $99.2 million in sales in 2014, an increase of 4.3% over the previous year. Its distributor division, Amsterdam Printing, reported $101 million in North American ad specialty sales, growth of 7.2% over 2013. Combined with Standard Register, Taylor will now be the parent to a more-than-$200 million distributor organization.