Safeguard Completes Partial Divestment of Fontis Solutions

April 01, 2018

Sale to OCTA Marketing Group Brings Unique Family-Dynamic to the Safeguard System

IRVINE, CA – Safeguard is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed the sale of a portion of the Irvine-based Fontis Solutions by Safeguard enterprise to OCTA Marketing Group. Fontis Solutions has been a full-service resource for creative brand messaging in print, promotional merchandise and online communications for more than 30 years. The partial sale of Fontis Solutions to independent distributors within the Safeguard network is the company’s latest transaction involving some of the largest and most recognized enterprises in the industry.

Family-operated entity OCTA Marketing Group (OCTA) was created in 2018 by husband/wife duo Kim and Mark Bassett as well as Kim’s brother, Damon Stephens. The three had been looking for business opportunities for more than a decade and expressed interest in acquiring a Safeguard business on the West Coast where they could work together to grow it and create a legacy for their children.

“Rather than starting a business from scratch, this deal with Safeguard gave us an existing platform and customer base to position us for future growth,” said Stephens, CEO of Octa Marketing Group. “When we looked at Fontis’ existing book of business, we knew that we had a great opportunity to take the relationships we’ve built in our previous roles and industries to reach new verticals, like construction, by introducing them to the variety of services that Safeguard can offer.”

Fontis Solutions, originally founded as Image Printing Solutions in 1983, was acquired by Safeguard in 2015. The goal of the transaction was to strengthen its market positioning within its company-operated division by helping the company continue to grow and evolve. On March 30, 2018, Safeguard decided to carve out a piece of the Fontis business and divest it to OCTA. The company determined that its strategic, vertically-focused business should remain with Fontis, while the portion of the business that was the more general SMB business would be best serviced by OCTA.

Ensuring that the company would be able to maintain all of its customers, vendors and tenured employees is always one of the greatest challenges associated with managing a change of this magnitude. With no prior exposure to the existing customer base, and as a new franchisee, it was vital for OCTA to keep those relationships in tact post-closing.

“Our employees are seasoned, many of them have been in the industry for more than 20 or 30 years,” said OCTA VP of Business Development Kim Bassett. “Their industry knowledge combined with our unique skill-sets and years of business experience was the baseline for creating a successful relationship with the customers. Being able to keep all of them on board was extremely important to us, and we’re proud to have such a strong team as we look at future growth opportunities.”  The acquisition was completed through Safeguard’s Business Acquisitions & Mergers (BAM) team.  With more than 100 years of collective experience in franchising, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, the BAM team has completed more than 180 strategic transactions since 2008. For its work in helping drive company and distributor growth through the completion of strategic transactions, the BAM team was honored with a Stevie® Award for “Best Support Team” in 2017. In 2014 and 2018, the Safeguard BAM team was also recognized as a “Dealmaker of the Year” award winner by Franchise Times® magazine and achieved a Deal of the Year award from M&A Advisor in 2017.

“When you think about the Octa Marketing Group, the first thing that comes to mind is passion,” said R. Scott Sutton, Vice President of Franchise Development at Safeguard. “This is not just a business relationship, it’s a family that has had an entrepreneurial approach to business ownership for a very long time. It’s been a goal and a dream for them. The ability to get the deal done and to help them achieve that dream was very rewarding. We know that over time, they’re going to want to continue to grow through acquisitions and other strategic transactions, and we’re here to help them get that done.”

ABOUT SAFEGUARD

For more than 60 years, Safeguard, through its network of distributors, has been providing the products, services and expertise needed by business owners to help their businesses grow. Through innovation, dedication and a commitment to quality and integrity, Safeguard has transformed itself from a small check printing business to a fully diversified business solutions enterprise. To learn more about Safeguard, please visit www.gosafeguard.com, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gosafeguard.

ABOUT SAFEGUARD BAM

Since 2008, Safeguard’s award-winning Business Acquisitions and Mergers (BAM) team has emerged as the most decorated strategic growth team in the industry. With more than 100 years of collective experience in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, business strategy and financial performance assessment, the BAM team possesses the “know how” needed by Safeguard, its affiliates, distributors and franchisees to complete complex transactions across multiple business channels. The BAM team has completed more than 180 total transactions since its inception, earning accolades at the highest levels. In 2018, the BAM team won a second coveted Dealmaker of the Year award, presented by Franchise Times® magazine, after first winning the award in 2014. In 2017, the BAM team won an M&A Advisor Deal of the Year award in the Professional Services (B-to-B) category as well as a bronze Stevie® American Business Award as Support Team of the Year. To learn more about the BAM team, please visit safeguardbam.com, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/safeguardgrowth.

###