Exclusive Coverage: Rowmark Buys Johnson Plastics

FINDLAY, Ohio—Engraving substrate manufacturer Rowmark LLC announces its acquisition of Minneapolis-based engraving products and sublimation supplies distributor Johnson Plastics for an undisclosed sum.

With the purchase, Findlay, Ohio-based Rowmark picks up Johnson Plastics’ nine regional sales and distribution centers, a major factor in its decision to make a bid for the company, according to Rich Zydonik, vice president of global sales and business development for Rowmark.

“We want to know the trends in the marketplace, we want to be more responsive, and to do that you really need to be closer (to the customer) and this gives us that ability,” Zydonik says.

The deal comes on the heels of Rowmark earlier this year launching its GoVivid line of direct-to-substrate, UV-LED digital printers. It’s the first time the company has gone from strictly producing consumables into selling the actual printers and accompanying software solutions.

The buyout of Johnson Plastics allows Rowmark’s GoVivid division to set up customer demonstration centers, service hubs and training in Johnson’s nine locations scattered across the country, Zydonik said.

Mike Johnson, president of Johnson Plastics, will continue to lead the distributor’s operations, Zydonik says, adding that there are no changes planned for any of that company’s approximately 80 employees.

Johnson Plastics was founded in 1970 by Mike Johnson’s parents, Tom and Margaret Johnson. Mike took over as president last fall.

He says Rowmark approached him about a year ago about a buyout. The companies have had a manufacturer/distributor relationship for more than 30 years, Johnson says.

“It wasn’t easy making a decision like this but we took a good hard look at the opportunity,” Johnson says, adding that he sees the deal as a continuation of the partnership the two companies have long had.

“We’re excited about the change and are looking forward to the future,” he adds.

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