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ModusLink Acquires IWCO Direct

January 1, 2018  By PrintAction Staff

ModusLink Global Solutions Inc., which is controlled by Steel Partners Holdings, completed the acquisition of privately held IWCO Direct, one of North America’s largest producers of data-driven direct marketing, for US$476 million in cash.

“We have been looking to acquire a profitable business with attractive operations and financials, and with a strong management team in order to leverage our approximately US$2.1 billion in net operating loss carryforwards and cash,” said Warren Lichtenstein, Executive Chairman of ModusLink. “We found a great fit in IWCO Direct. We essentially double the size of our company and add significant earnings and free cash flow.”

Lichtenstein also pointed to IWCO Direct’s client base with a range of Fortune 500 companies, and significant opportunities to drive both top- and bottom-line results. “We intend to aggressively grow IWCO Direct,” he said, “organically and through acquisitions.”


IWCO Direct, which becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of ModusLink Global Solutions, will continue to be run by Jim Andersen, who has been CEO since 1999. Jack Howard, President of Steel Partners, and William Fejes Jr., President of Steel Services Ltd., join the ModusLink board of directors.

For the last 12 months through October 2017, IWCO Direct had net revenue of US$470.6 million, net income of US$18.9 million and Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) of US$82.2 million.

For the last 12 months through October 2017, ModusLink had net revenue of US$417.8 million, a net loss of US$22.5 million and negative EBITDA of US$3.8 million, although net loss and EBITDA improved by US$32.5 million and US$28.0 million year-over-year, respectively.

IWCO Direct’s range of services includes strategy, creative and production for multichannel marketing campaigns, as well as postal logistics programs for direct mail. Through its Mail-Gard product, IWCO Direct also offers business continuity and disaster recovery services to protect against unexpected business interruptions, along with providing print and mail outsourcing services.

IWCO Direct claims to be the largest direct mail production provider in North America, with the largest platform of continuous digital print technology and a growing direct marketing agency service.

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