Published in ASI
Bensussen Deutsch & Associates (BDA, asi/137616), a Top 40 promotional products distributor based in Woodinville, WA, has acquired Idea Planet (asi/229498), a merchandise agency/distributorship. Terms of the deal were not released.
Headquartered in Dallas, TX, Idea Planet is led by Mike Flecker, Mike Ableman and Kim Flecker. The company brings a deep roster of client relationships to BDA, including globally recognized video game developers like Ubisoft, Sega, Gearbox, 2K/Rockstar Games, and Sony Interactive Entertainment. The firm's clients also include consumer brand powerhouses, such as Chick-Fil-A and Samsung.
"The entire Idea Planet team has a tremendous skill set in product design and developing innovative, strategy-driven merchandise campaigns that tell brand stories," Jay Deutsch, CEO and co-founder of BDA, said of the acquired distributorship. "The combination of our deep creative and manufacturing resources will bring our ability to deliver merchandise collections, high-end collectibles, and turnkey direct-to-consumer sales channels to world-class levels."
BDA described Idea Planet as a firm that brings entertainment, gaming and brand experiences to life through custom, fan-inspired products. Beyond Dallas, Idea Planet has offices in Los Angeles and Shenzhen, China. The company has been in business for more than 20 years.
"There's a natural synergy between our client rosters, and the acquisition presents an opportunity to leverage our industry's top creative forces to drive growth," said Michael Flecker, president of Idea Planet. "By aligning ourselves with a proven market leader like BDA, we gain access to proven expertise in global manufacturing and logistics. This will enable us to increase our footprint and deliver an even higher level of service to our clients."
Based on 2020 North American promo products revenue of $477.4 million, BDA ranks fifth on Counselor's most recent list of the industry's largest distributors. The new list comes out in July.
In December 2021, BDA expanded its international footprint by establishing a new distribution and fulfillment center in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Acquisitions have been accelerating in the promo products market of late. After a pandemic-induced lull, M&A activity began increasing again in the latter of half of 2021.
The pace of deals then quickened in 2022.
In May, for instance, HALO Branded Solutions (asi/356000), promo's biggest distributor by revenue, acquired fellow Top 40 firm BrandVia Alliance (asi/145037). Hardly a week later, White Plains, NY-based distributor Zagwear (asi/365552), a large firm with international offices and household name clients, acquired New York City-based distributor Arrow Promotional (asi/124500).
On the supplier side, Top 40 firm SnugZ USA (asi/88060) made a splash in January when it acquired another Top 40 supplier – Sweda Company (asi/90305). Meanwhile, S&S Activewear (asi/84358), promo's third largest supplier, purchased TSF Sportswear in April – a deal that followed S&S's November acquisition of TSC Apparel, which at the time was promo's 14th biggest supplier by revenue.
Some promo executives think acquisitions will continue to increase, driven by factors like the rising cost of doing business, technology requirements and an aging executive/owner class in the industry.