Friday, October 14, 2011

LBO haunting Rowley-Scher Reprographics in slow market

Nostalgia beckons! (Sorry, but I’m a very nostalgic person by nature, and I could resist posting this story …. from the Washington Business Journal in July 1990!)

Washington Business Journal | July 23, 1990 | writer: O'Hara, Terrence H.

“LBO haunting Rowley-Scher in slow market”

Operations and staff cut at former top-100 firm.

Plagued by debt and a slowing demand for its product, Beltsville-based Rowley-Scher Reprographics Inc., the area's largest reproducer of architectural and design documents, has cut back its operations and pared its executive staff considerably.

The former public company was the target of a $12 million leveraged buyout in late 1987. Since going private, the company has followed a pattern like that of many other companies that were involved in highly leveraged transactions during the 1980s. Strapped with high interest payments, the company is highly sensitive to downturns in the market which it serves.

Rowley-Scher chief executive Donald Jackson said last week that the company's strategy to branch into other markets has been put on hold given the slowdown in the building industry, upon which the firm's business depends.

Part of the rest of the story behind the story that appeared in the WBJ:

· We took Rowley-Scher public (NASDAQ) in November 1985.

· We sold Rowley-Scher, in an LBO transaction, in February 1988. The shareholders who owned the company, after we sold it, were Citi-Corp Venture Capital, Ltd, Jack Rand and Carlo Simoni.

· I retired from Rowley-Scher six months after we completed the sale. I was asked to stay on, but was not interested in staying on.

· Don Jackson was hired by the new owners to be Chairman/CEO of the company (in spite of the fact that I suggested that was not necessary, that Mark, John and Rich could handle the operations.)

· John Scher Zeller, our COO, left Rowley-Scher approximately two years after we completed the sale.

· Richard Heller, our VP of Sales, stayed on with Rowley-Scher for several years after we sold the company.

· Mark Sirangelo, our President, left Rowley-Scher a bit before John Zeller did.

· After struggling for several years, due to an extremely heavy debt load and a downturn in sales, the “assets” of Rowley-Scher were sold to an entity controlled by Darras McCord (then owner of Shacoh USA). Rich Heller ran the company for Darras. By then, the company’s name had been changed to RTI (Reprographics Technology.)

· A few years later, Darras sold the company to ARC. Shortly afterwards, Rich Heller left the company and joined ABC Imaging.

· ARC also purchased Ridgway’s, which had operations in the DC Metro area and Leet-Melbrook (one location in Gaithersburg, MD).

· Eventually, RTI, Ridgway’s and Leet-Melbrook were merged together, continuing under the RTI name.

· Later, ARC purchased MBC Precision Imaging, and, shortly thereafter, merged all of the former-owned entities into MBC.

· On January 1, 2011, ARC rebranded all of its entities under the ARC brand name.

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