Cartamundi to grow international footprint with United States Playing Card Co acquisition

Cartamundi, the Belgian toy and playing cards specialist, it to purchase The United States Playing Card Company from its parent company Newell Brands, in a bid to build out its international portfolio.

USPC is an acclaimed playing cards manufacturer across the US and Spain. This acquisition will now allow Cartamundi a larger foothold on both markets as it continues to invest in the global entertainment market.

The United States Playing Card Company, owns a wealth of internationally recognised brands, including Bicycle, Bee, Hoyle, and Fournier, and is seen by many as the global standard within the world of playing cards. The business employs over 350 people and has manufacturing facilities in Kentuck and the Spanish city of Vitoria in Álava. In 2018 it realised net sales of approximately $112m.

“We are excited about the opportunity and look forward to welcoming The United States Playing Card Company to the Cartamundi group,” said Stefaan Mrckx, CEO of Cartamundi.

“USPC is a globally renowned company and, like us, has a passion for its products and consumers. The segments in which USPC operates are perfectly complementary to those of Cartamundi. This investment will further deliver on Cartamundi’s purpose of sharing the magic of playing together towards consumers worldwide.”

Michael Slaughter, CEO of USPC, added: “We are delighted about the prospect to join forces with Cartamundi and leverage both companies’ rich history and passion of card making, as well as our complementary global presence.

“We look forward to working together in furthering our shared ambition to delight consumers across the globe.”

Cartamundi has detailed its own plans for expanding its geographic reach through new countries and new channels. The acquisition is a logical step forward, as USPC is a recognised name in the growing card, casino and specialty playing cards segments.

The combined company will employ 2,500 people and operate 13 state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities across four continents. Cartamundi has also underlined a ‘strong commitment’ to the local economy and environment.

Merckx added: “Consumers from different regions have different needs. The best way to serve them is to rely on the knowledge and experience of our local teams.”

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Alta Capital Partners acted as financial advisor and Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP acted as legal advisor to Cartamundi on the transaction.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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