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Herff Jones buys globe maker Replogle

August 24, 2010

Herff Jones Inc. on Monday said it has purchased Chicago-area globe maker Replogle.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and company officials did not return phone calls.

Replogle is one of the world’s largest globe manufacturers and dates to the 1930s. The company as of 2004 had 225 employees and sales of $18 million. Its products are sold in everything from large retail stores to high-end furniture outlets.

The company was started by a former school supplies salesman named Luther Replogle who began manufacturing globes by hand in 1930 and coined the phrase, "A globe in every home." Replogle got a major marketing boost by displaying his globes at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair. During the fair's two-year run, he sold more than 100,000 globes through Chicago retailer Marshall Fields.

Indianapolis-based Herff Jones specializes in educational products, recognition awards and graduation-related merchandise. It has 20 manufacturing facilities and about 4,000 employees, with about 500 of those in Indianapolis.

The company now controls most of the domestic globe-manufacturing industry. It acquired the only other U.S. globe manufacturer of significant size, the Indianapolis-based George F. Cram Co., in 2005. Cram now operates as a division of Herff Jones.

Herff Jones has made several other acquisitions in recent years. In 2008, it bought Framing Success Inc. of Virginia Beach, Va., and Murphy Cap & Gown Co. of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Herff Jones also tried to acquire Austin, Texas-based competitor American Achievement Corp. from AAC Group Holding Corp., in 2008, but the deal fell through.

Last month, Herff Jones Inc. announced it would close a printing plant in eastern Pennsylvania this fall, laying off 107 workers.

 

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