Halls & Company Acquires ActNow Media

Minnesota-based Halls & Company (asi/59080), manufacturer of ID Line, has acquired ActNow Media (asi/31015), a Georgia-based supplier. Finalized October 27, the deal’s financial terms were kept private.

“We have been looking to grow through acquisition for a while and felt this was a good first step after laying low in the acquisition area for the last ten years,” Eric Johnson, vice president of sales and development at Halls & Company, told Counselor. “Our previous two acquisitions (Goodkind Pen and before that, Wise Line) worked out well. Now, with an improving economy, we feel more comfortable pulling the trigger on this and some potential future possibilities.”

While Halls & Company is a leader in the name tag and event badge categories, the supplier felt it could benefit by expanding offerings – a move the acquisition of ActNow Media greatly facilitates. Fred Leamer founded ActNow 19 years ago in Atlanta, with his innovative Write ‘n’ Roll paper mouse pad as a flagship offering. These days, the supplier specializes in mouse pads, counter mats and wrist rests.

“Fred has developed a stellar reputation in the industry as he’s grown his business over the years,” said Janet Adams, president of Halls & Company. “We look forward to broadening our line and providing greater opportunities for our customers.”

Leamer is not joining Halls & Company; he plans to retire. With the Halls & Company team, Leamer feels he is leaving ActNow in “great hands…I was able to start and grow this company thanks to the support of an amazing woman, my wife, and it feels like a fitting transition to hand off to an equally amazing woman-owned business.”

Christine Johnson founded Halls & Company in New Hope, MN, in 1971. As sales increased substantially, the firm relocated to a larger facility in Brooklyn Park, MN, to accommodate growth.

Going forward, ActNow Media will operate as a distinctive line under the Halls & Company umbrella. Separate ASI numbers will be maintained – at least for a time. All ActNow Media operations will consolidate to Halls & Company’s Minnesota location. No ActNow staff will be relocating to Minnesota, Eric Johnson told Counselor. He noted that operations and pricing will remain the same, and that the product line will expand in 2018. “We plan on growing and expanding (the) line to offer more products to the industry,” said Eric Johnson.