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Univenture mulls options for UniKeep division

By: Frank Antosiewicz

March 6, 2013

MARYSVILLE, OHIO – Univenture Inc. is hiring mergers and acquisitions firm Generational Equity to explore growth opportunities for its UniKeep LLC division, a maker of proprietary products for the consumer storage and industrial packaging markets.

"UniKeep is a fantastic product line and in my opinion it should be a $50 million business," said Ross Youngs, Univenture CEO, in a telephone interview.

Youngs said Generational Equity, a Dallas-based M&A group that provides strategic growth advisory services, will help develop a variety of options for the division's future. He said the process has started and they hope to gain ideas in the coming weeks. However, depending on the options, it could take months to reach a decision.

"Our gloves are basically off," said Youngs, noting that they would consider many scenarios.

The Unikeep division manufactures various cases, binders and related accessories. It has 39 patents issued worldwide. The company said that it had about $7 million in sales. UniKeep and Univenture are both located in the same building.

Youngs said the brand had "some great successes in the retail market," but were squeezed out in the mid-1990s when companies consolidated their vendor bases.

He said that one growth opportunity is in the company's use of digital printing and decorating, allowing for customization of products. It recently added a capability for a customer to download art for permanent digital printing on a UniKeep product.

Univenture was formed in 1988 and has been inventing and manufacturing consumer and industrial products for entertainment, publishing and other industries.