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North-side stationery firm acquired by Canadian company

September 1, 2016

An 88-year-old stationery firm on the city’s north side has been acquired by a Canadian company looking to put its stamp on the Midwest.

Supremex Inc., based in Montreal, has purchased Bowers Envelope Co. Inc., a manufacturer and printer of envelopes with about 50 employees, the company announced this week.

Supremex officials declined to reveal the purchase price, but reported that Bowers posted about $8.5 million in revenue in 2015.

“This acquisition, while relatively small, aligns with our strategy to extend our reach in key markets and to expand our value added offering in packaging and specialty products,” said Stewart Emerson, CEO of Supremex, in prepared comments.

“Bowers Envelope is a well-known brand strategically located less than 300 kilometers from Chicago at ‘The Crossroads of America’ in a robust envelope market and a major hub for e-commerce distribution,” Emerson said.

Bowers operates from a 75,000-square-foot facility located at 5331 N. Tacoma Ave., just northeast of the intersection of 52nd Street and Keystone Avenue.

Supremex isn’t planning any layoffs at the facility, according to Benoit Crowe, vice president of finance.

“We’re long-term investors,” Crowe told IBJ on Thursday. “We were looking to get a footprint in the area and thought Bowers was the best fit.”

Bowers General Manager Mike Daniel will continue to lead the local operation.

Supremex makes a broad range of stock and custom envelopes and is a growing provider of packaging and specialty products, according to the firm. With the acquisition of Bowers, it has about 700 employees in Canada and the U.S.

In late 2015, it acquired Classic Envelope Inc., a manufacturer and printer of envelopes based in Massachusetts with $12 million in annual sales.

"We believe our cross-country Canadian operations, our Massachusetts, New York and now Midwest facilities' capabilities and scale, allows us to be a bona fide regional player in the U.S. market," Stewart said.
 

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