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Proprietary molder seeks strategic partner/buyer

Article-Proprietary molder seeks strategic partner/buyer

Looking for growth in all the right places is what UniKeep LLC is attempting, and has engaged Generational Equity, an M&A firm, to strategically explore options for its proprietary molding division. UniKeep, a division of Univenture Inc. in Marysville, OH, manufactures a variety of unique consumer and commercial products including injection molded cases, binders, and related accessories.

UniKeep manufactures a variety of injection molded proprietary products that serve the consumer storage markets and industrial packaging markets. One of UniKeep’s most popular products is a three-ring case binder that is completely enclosed and offers a convenient and versatile way to package products and product introductions, media kits, tax records, and more. The case binder comes with plastic rings that are injection molded with the case, or with metal rings. The company has 39 patents issued on its products worldwide.
Ross Youngs, CEO of Univenture, told PlasticsToday that he’s hoping that Generational Equity, with its many contacts and connections with companies worldwide, can find an entity “that might be looking for a strategic partnership or partial acquisition in an effort to expand their own business segment with UniKeep’s product lines, and help UniKeep product lines reach their global potential.”
Michele Cole, president of Univenture, commented that the company’s customers “continue to love the UniKeep product line for commercial or consumer applications and we see dramatic growth opportunities for the brand in the future.”
Youngs, who founded the business in 1988 to provide injection molded packaging (jewel cases for CDs) for the then-booming optical media market, told PlasticsToday that the company has undergone several evolutions with the decline of optical media, including its variety of packaging products and the case binders.

The Unikeep line of products sold “above the average SKU in its category while continuing to grow share,” Youngs noted. But, company’s products were considered niche products by the office products retail space, and when retail buyers began consolidating their vendors in the mid-1990s, UniKeep was squeezed out of that arena. 

Cole characterized current product sales at approximately $7 million per year and sees significant upside potential. “We were a small company and needed additional products and volume to keep the attention of buyers that removed smaller suppliers to reduce office overhead,” she said.
UniKeep has added to its SKUs, expanded its product lines, and Cole added, “We now have the products and will take advantage of teaming for determining the best path for the future of the UniKeep Company and products.”

Youngs believes in the UniKeep products and the potential for them to become a larger share of the market category. “People loved our products and our sales continued to grow even after we were out of the office products retail arena,” he said. "I believe that for the right company, it provides a great opportunity for someone who is a manufacturer and has the distribution channels, the broader vision, and expanded reach to take these products to their full potential. All it takes is the right partner or the right group to take it to the next level.”

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