Class Ring Company Jostens Sold for $1.5 Billion

New owner Jarden owns more than 100 consumer brands ranging from First Alert smoke detectors to Bicycle playing cards.

Jarden, which owns more than 100 consumer brands ranging from First Alert smoke detectors to Bicycle playing cards, has acquired class ring manufacturer Jostens for $1.5 billion.

Jostens also makes rings for sporting events such as the Super Bowl as well as graduation gear and varsity jackets. It has been owned since 2004 by a holding company managed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and aPriori Capital Partners.

The 114-year-old Minneapolis-based company, which grew out of a small local jewelry and watch store, generates about $740 million in annual revenue, down from $850 million a decade ago, reports say. In 2010, it purchased Intergold, but four years later, the Federal Trade Commission blocked its bid to purchase leading rival American Achievement Corp., which owns ArtCarved and Balfour.

New owner Jarden is a publicly listed company based in Boca Raton, Fla., that controls a formidable stable of brands, including Mr. Coffee, AeroBed, Seal-a-Meal, Yankee Candle, and Sunbeam.

On a conference call following the announcement, executives said they expect Jostens will help Jarden’s other businesses that target schools, such as Yankee Candle’s scholastic fund-raising business. They also plan to reinvest in the company.

“[Jostens] hasn’t really produced a lot of new products for their customers in years, and that’s part of what we’re good at,” said Jarden founder and executive chairman Martin E. Franklin. “We buy businesses for the long-term, so we’re going to give them tools and products that they’ve never had before.”

JCK News Director