Local graphics firm Pratt acquired by Minnesota company

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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