On Aug. 17, Reuters reported that Clover Technologies Group was exploring a sale, and had hired Morgan Stanley to run an auction for the company. The Reuters report indicated that sale could value the company at roughly $1.5 billion, including debt.
The report from Reuters noted the sources asked not to be identified because the sale process is confidential, and that Clover, Morgan Stanley and Golden Gate Capital declined to comment.
We spoke to Clover Imaging Group’s EVP Global Sales and Marketing Luke Goldberg for some clarity. Goldberg emphasized Clover’s tremendous growth over the years, noting, “There have been investment partnerships over the years that have been very valuable to us and that have enabled us both to acquire new businesses in the imaging space and other divisions as well. It is a normal and natural part of this growth strategy to continue to look at other investment partners to help continue to expand our global reach, our product portfolio and solutions portfolio – all the things that enable us to bring value to the marketplace.”
Founded in 1996, Illinois-based Clover has been a major player in the aftermarket imaging industry for many years, growing steadily on its own steam and through acquisition before its own acquisition by Golden Gate Capital in 2010. Golden Gate, a private equity firm with such big-name brands in its portfolio as California Pizza Kitchen and Eddie Bauer, acquired remanufacturer West Point Products at the same time as Clover, although the two continued to operate separately.
In 2014, Clover and remanufacturing industry leader MSE announced a strategic merger, and in early 2015, Clover announced the creation of Clover Imaging Group (CIG) to encompass all its brands under one portfolio.
In addition to its imaging businesses, Clover’s portfolio includes wireless repair platform Clover Wireless, and telecom hardware and engineering business Clover Telecom. When asked if the company would be willing to split the divisions for sale, representatives had no comment.
Goldberg emphasized initiatives focused on the company’s growth, including the renewal of the lease of its Van Nuys, California, facility through 2019, as well as its new Mexicali, Mexico, facility, which combines its imaging and empties reclamation in one building and allows for higher capacity and higher quality. He noted that all of the firm’s initiatives require significant investments, “and all of them take the kind of partnerships we’ve [had] over the years to help us fund this growth.”
No time frame has been discussed, and although not at liberty to discuss details, Goldberg did point out all the rumors could be a lot of “sound and fury, signifying nothing.” We enjoy a good Shakespeare quote, so we’ll leave it at that … for now.