Hub Pen Acquires Two Texas Suppliers

Top 40 supplier Hub Pen Company (asi/61966) of Braintree, MA, has acquired two Texas-based suppliers that specialize in drinkware and related items in deals finalized in November, the companies told Counselor late Monday. Financial terms of the acquisitions of Balch Springs, TX-based Best Promotions USA (asi/40344) and Channelview, TX-based Cooler Graphics (asi/80345) were kept private.

The acquisitions come nearly a year after Hub Pen acquired Beacon Promotions (asi/39250). The deals represent the advancement of a business strategy that has the Massachusetts supplier eyeing double-digit growth in 2018, a Hub Pen spokesman told Counselor. 

Joe Fleming, president of Hub Pen, said that Cooler Graphics and Best Promotions USA were attractive companies to join forces with because they share his firm’s commitment to best-in-class service, quick turnaround times and emphasis on forming long-lasting partnerships with customers. Importantly, the suppliers’ lines also allow Hub Pen to expand the breadth of its offerings, making it easier for distributors to connect with more great products from a single source, a spokesman said. 

“For more than 60 years, Hub Pen has focused solely on writing instruments and in doing so we have been able to deliver the highest quality pens at a better value than anyone in the market,” Fleming said in a statement. “Building on the 2016 addition of Beacon Promotions and its broad portfolio of quality products, joining forces with Best Promotions USA and Cooler Graphics enables us to apply that same passion for excellence to the drinkware category.”

Going forward, the plan is to roll Cooler Graphics into a brand within Best Promotions. Mike Hicks, president of Best Promotions USA, will remain in a leadership role. Jeromey Turner, general manager of Cooler Graphics’ Channelview facility, will stay in that position. Hub Pen and Best Promotions USA will continue to attend industry events. They plan to appear for the first time with a shared strategy for the ASI and PPAI industry trade shows in January 2018.

Hicks said he sees strong value in the merger. “We jumped at the opportunity to add (Cooler Graphics’) world famous Slap, Wrap and Go beverage holder, along with a full line of neoprene-based promotional products to the Best portfolio. And then, to have an opportunity to partner with an industry leader like Hub and gain access to the great product lines they have, that was a complete win-win for us,” Hicks said.

With reported 2016 North American promotional product revenue of $74.8 million, Hub Pen ranked 22nd on Counselor’s list of the largest suppliers in the ad specialty industry. Hub Pen is a second generation, family-owned business.

Founded in 2007 and known for its “coolies” and delivery times, Best Promotions is comprised of 90 employees. A second generation family-owned business founded in 2001, Cooler Graphics is known for its Slap, Wrap and Go beverage insulator bracelet, as well as its coolies, bottle hoodies, lunch bags, and other outdoor sportsmen products.