Vestcom Announces Partnership with The Stephens Group, LLC and Lake Capital

April 19, 2007

Additional Capital and Strategic Resources Position Retail Solutions Company for Accelerated Growth.

Vestcom International Inc., the leading provider of data-driven, shelf-edge marketing solutions to major retailers and brand manufacturers in the grocery, drug, and mass merchandising industries, today announced it has reached an agreement under which The Stephens Group, LLC, a Little Rock-based private equity firm, and Lake Capital, a Chicago-based private equity firm that invests in service-based companies, will purchase a majority interest in Vestcom from the company’s management and Cornerstone Equity Investors, a New York-based private equity firm. The existing management team will remain in place and is reinvesting a significant portion of its ownership in partnership with The Stephens Group and Lake Capital.

The transaction completes a recapitalization that will position the company for the next stage of its growth and enable it to continue to expand its capabilities for its customers. As leading retailers and consumer packaged goods companies focus on improving cost-efficiency and strengthening point-of-purchase marketing, Vestcom will continue to enhance its service offerings in technology-driven in-store marketing communications.

“We began this process looking for the perfect fit, a partner who believed in our growth story and who would mesh well culturally with the company’s management and its 500 talented associates,” said Steve Bardwell, Vestcom’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Joining forces with The Stephens Group and Lake Capital is a best-of-both-worlds scenario for Vestcom. Lake Capital’s direct industry experience will be instrumental, as we continue to develop new markets and opportunities, while the principals of The Stephens Group have had a hand in building some of Arkansas’ best-known businesses. We look forward to adding Vestcom to that list.”

Vestcom is the leading provider of shelf-edge communications for most of the nation’s top grocery, drug, and mass merchandising chains. An innovator in its field, the company provides data-driven, shelf-edge marketing solutions that deliver proven results and influence behavior at the point-of-decision. Deploying proprietary technology and customized color digital messaging, Vestcom helps retailers and brand manufacturers communicate clearly and efficiently with their customers to enhance their shopping experience. The company also offers solutions that combine pricing and product placement data for retailers, significantly reducing set-up time and labor, as well as improving store-level compliance with corporate marketing programs.

“There has been strong demand among retailers and brand manufacturers for more creative ways to engage and educate consumers at the point-of-decision. While we’ve enjoyed exciting growth throughout our history, we see tremendous opportunities for continued growth within the retail sector both in the United States and abroad. We are excited to add the strategic and capital resources of The Stephens Group and Lake Capital as the company positions itself for the next phase of growth,” said Tim McKenzie, president and chief operating officer of Vestcom.

In 2002, Vestcom’s management team completed a “go-private” transaction in partnership with Cornerstone Equity Investors and launched an initiative to enhance the company’s scale and focus on retail shelf-edge communications. Today, Vestcom is the industry-leading shelf-edge communications firm and is uniquely positioned to continue its expansion into providing broader in-store marketing services.

Vestcom’s new initiatives include AdTags, which integrate traditional shelf price labels with high impact, four-color graphic communications; ShelfCast, a video display network that allows retailers and manufacturers to manage specific brand and promotion media at the store/SKU level; and PegAssist, a labor-saving merchandising tool that allows retailers to reduce the time required to reset display racks in their stores.

“The Stephens Group looks across the country for great companies with which to partner. It is a pleasure to find such a company in our own back yard. Steve and his team have accomplished remarkable results since the company was founded more than 20 years ago, and we think Vestcom has never been better positioned for further growth,” remarked W. Kent Sorrells, principal at The Stephens Group. “We are also excited about our partnership with Lake Capital and look forward to working closely with them in support of the company.”

“We believe our experience investing in a number of successful marketing services and retail merchandising solutions companies will allow us to bring strategic insights, as well as financial resources, to support the Vestcom team’s growth plan,” noted Paul Yovovich, co-founder and president of Lake Capital. “In addition, we are delighted to partner with The Stephens Group in this initiative.”

The company also announced that Steve Bardwell, chairman of the Vestcom Board of Directors, will be joined on the board by Kent Sorrells of The Stephens Group, K. Rick Turner, senior managing principal at The Stephens Group, Paul Yovovich of Lake Capital, and Ross Christianson, director of Lake Capital.


Little Rock, Arkansas-based Vestcom is the leading provider of data-driven, shelf-edge communications and specialized marketing services for the retail industry – delivering proven results and influencing behavior at the point-of-decision for the nation’s top retailers and their suppliers, processing more than 100 million price/promotion updates per week through its nine production facilities located across the United States. Vestcom’s services benefit retail clients by reducing store operations expenses, increasing retail sales and improving product margins.


The Stephens Group is a private, family-owned firm that invests in private and public companies in growing industries with exceptional management teams that can deliver high returns on the firm’s invested capital. The principals of the firm have more than 70 years of history successfully investing in both minority and control positions across multiple industries. The Stephens Group, through its affiliates, has large positions in gas exploration and production (Stephens Production Company), natural gas gathering and processing (Energy Transfer Partners, (NYSE:ETP)), energy services (North American Energy Partners (NYSE:NOA), JV Industrial Companies, and Seminole Energy Services, Multi-Shot), media, communications, consumer, manufacturing (Viking Range Corporation), and other industries. The Stephens Group typically provides equity capital of $5 million to $75 million dollars per transaction and looks to invest $100-$200 million per year.


Lake Capital is a private equity firm that focuses on investments in service-based enterprises across various industries. The firm is currently managing more than $1.3 billion in equity commitments and seeks to build leading services companies through organic and acquisition-enhanced growth.


Carol Nelson
Vestcom International, Inc.
501.663.0100 ext. 594

Ron Clark
General Counsel
The Stephens Group, LLC

Amy LaBan
Lake Capital