American Achievement Corporation and Iconic Group are now Balfour & Co.
Company receives large capital investment for growth
DALLAS, October 7, 2021 / PRNewswire / – For more than a century, American Achievement Corporation has provided products that mark special moments and achievements in people’s lives. Today, with a new owner, the company has solid financial stability, capital for product and technical innovation, as well as investments to help develop the family of brands. The new parent company name, Balfour & Co., sets the bar high for the industry with digital and traditional product innovation helping students and their families celebrate the most meaningful moments in their lives. Following new owners and several mergers, Balfour & Co. is one of the largest start-up service companies for schools, students and parents. The company operates throughout North America with around 5,000 team members.
Building on the longevity and solid foundation of the company’s largest brand, Balfour, the new company name Balfour & Co., unites all seven brands into one company and replaces the old parent company names American Achievement and Iconic Group. As a one-stop-shop, Balfour & Co. will provide the highest quality custom classy jewelry, yearbooks, graduation caps and dresses, debut photographs, announcements and apparel to the industry.
As announced in March, the group of investors – led by a subsidiary of Cerberus Capital Management, LP (“Cerberus”) – became the majority shareholder of the company. A recent significant investment from its new owners has positioned Balfour & Co. not only for financial stability, but also for a successful long-term growth strategy. This additional capital investment was in addition to its new line of credit from new owners. Due to the recent strong performance, this capital is not currently in use but is available for key investments in the future such as its ongoing digital reinvention, production innovation, a new manufacturing facility, the operational excellence and strategic acquisitions to drive long-term growth.
Chief Executive Officer Ryan Esko assumed his role in March 2021 and works with the leadership team to build a very strong but agile organization. Esko has a proven track record, leading consumer, fashion and retail companies to record sales, customer satisfaction and profits. In addition to its current management team, the company recently hired a new COO Dean Coulson, vice president of training and deployment Rachelle aikens, Vice President of Ecommerce and Product Merchandising Natasha Bacon and Chief Information Officer Aravind Kashyap, to add to his team. Balfour & Co. also plans to hire additional talent in all aspects of its corporate operations to invest in its strategic plans.
“Bringing together our various companies under a single company name (Balfour & Co.) is part of our strategy of teamwork and excellence for our customers on a daily basis. The additional investment from our new owners gives us the fuel to deliver excellence, to innovate further and launch our next phase of growth, ”said Esko.
In addition to the large injection of capital, Balfour & Co. exceeded the sales and profit budget for fiscal 2021. “We are very grateful to our loyal customers, schools, employees and product representatives for their support and their unwavering confidence in us, “Esko says. With this major investment in the brand, Balfour & Co. plans to be there for them for the long haul.
For more information, visit www.balfour.com.
About Balfour & Co.
Formerly known as the American Achievement Corporation and Iconic Group, Balfour & Co. is one of the largest startup services companies leading the industry in digital product innovation by helping students and their families to celebrate the most significant moments of their lives. Operating under the Balfour®, GraduateImages®, Photo University®, Gaspard®, ArtSculpted®, KeepSake® and Taylor Publishing Company®, the Company provides personalized products such as jewelry and class clothing, yearbooks, graduation caps and dresses, ad products and photographs through digital marketing technology, personal deliveries to the school and personalized school assortments. To learn more, visit Balfour.com, the destination for graduation products, and GradImages.com, the industry’s largest early-stage photography platform.
Founded in 1992, Cerberus is a global leader in alternative investing with approximately $ 50 billion in assets through complementary credit, private equity and real estate strategies. We invest in the capital structure where our integrated investment platforms and proprietary operating capabilities create an advantage to improve performance and generate long-term value. Our permanent teams have experience of working collaboratively across asset classes, sectors and geographies to seek strong risk-adjusted returns for our investors. For more information about our people and our platforms, visit www.cerberus.com.
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SOURCE Balfour & Co.