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Local graphics firm Pratt acquired by Minnesota company

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Pratt Corp., a 66-year-old Indianapolis-based retail graphics firm that saw ambitious expansion plans come up short during the recession, has been acquired by Vomela Group of St. Paul, Minn.

Terms of the deal, announced Monday, were not disclosed. Vomela said the new unit will be renamed Pratt Visual Solutions.

Pratt was founded in 1946 under the name Pratt Poster Co. by Ryland Pratt as an outdoor advertising company and developed a specialty as a national store-decor business. In 1982, it began creating signage for one of its biggest clients, Mooresville, N.C.-based Lowe’s Cos. Inc. Other clients included HHGregg, Shoe Carnival Inc. and FedEx.

In 2005, the company consolidated operations into 400,000 square feet of space along Shadeland Avenue and promised to create 141 full-time jobs paying an average of $21 per hour and retain 177 existing employees.

The company fell below its hiring targets in 2008, and the city last year overturned its property-tax breaks. At the time, Pratt had 175 local employees. The company said Tuesday that it now has 143 workers.

CEO Dan Pratt told IBJ in August that he had been focused on stabilizing and rebuilding the company instead of growing it, due to the effects of the economy. Dan Pratt will stay with Pratt Visual Solutions as president.

Vomela has 900 employees across 18 locations in the United States and Canada. The 65-year-old graphics firm expects revenue this year to hit $200 million.

 

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  1. Aaron is my fav!

  2. Let's see... $25M construction cost, they get $7.5M back from federal taxpayers, they're exempt from business property tax and use tax so that's about $2.5M PER YEAR they don't have to pay, permitting fees are cut in half for such projects, IPL will give them $4K under an incentive program, and under IPL's VFIT they'll be selling the power to IPL at 20 cents / kwh, nearly triple what a gas plant gets, about $6M / year for the 150-acre combined farms, and all of which is passed on to IPL customers. No jobs will be created either other than an handful of installers for a few weeks. Now here's the fun part...the panels (from CHINA) only cost about $5M on Alibaba, so where's the rest of the $25M going? Are they marking up the price to drive up the federal rebate? Indy Airport Solar Partners II LLC is owned by local firms Johnson-Melloh Solutions and Telemon Corp. They'll gross $6M / year in triple-rate power revenue, get another $12M next year from taxpayers for this new farm, on top of the $12M they got from taxpayers this year for the first farm, and have only laid out about $10-12M in materials plus installation labor for both farms combined, and $500K / year in annual land lease for both farms (est.). Over 15 years, that's over $70M net profit on a $12M investment, all from our wallets. What a boondoggle. It's time to wise up and give Thorium Energy your serious consideration. See http://energyfromthorium.com to learn more.

  3. Markus, I don't think a $2 Billion dollar surplus qualifies as saying we are out of money. Privatization does work. The government should only do what private industry can't or won't. What is proven is that any time the government tries to do something it costs more, comes in late and usually is lower quality.

  4. Some of the licenses that were added during Daniels' administration, such as requiring waiter/waitresses to be licensed to serve alcohol, are simply a way to generate revenue. At $35/server every 3 years, the state is generating millions of dollars on the backs of people who really need/want to work.

  5. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...

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