Quark Purchased by Platinum Equity

Quark, Inc. has been purchased by Platinum Equity, a highly successful investment firm based in Los Angeles. How successful is Platinum Equity? The Los Angeles Business Journal lists them as the largest private company in the Los Angeles area, and Forbes named them the 31st largest private company in America. Their founder is Tom Gores, who is listed in Forbes top 500 billionaires in the world.

So now what?

The Wikipedia entry on Platinum Equity has this telling sentence: “After an acquisition, Platinum Equity often invests in additional businesses, equipment, people and facilities that give its holdings a stronger position for the long haul.”

I interpret this to mean that Platinum Equity will invest in Quark, possibly acquiring other companies or technologies to fill in the perceived gaps in Quark’s services.

I asked Quark’s CEO and President Ray Schiavone about the acquisition, and he said that Platinum Equity will be advising on the direction of the company, mainly regarding operations. When I asked about whether Platinum Equity has other properties that may be merged with Quark, he indicated that they had no other properties in this industry and he doesn’t foresee any mergers.

He added that Quark expects operations to continue largely as they are. They’ll remain in Denver, with the same people and products as before, only now with greater resources and opportunities.

The next few years should be an exciting time to be a Quark user!

History

Back in 1986, Farhad “Fred” Ebrahimi partnered with Quark’s founder and programming genius Tim Gill to grow Quark and ultimately position QuarkXPress as the dominant page layout program in the world. Tim sold his share of Quark to Fred in 2000, and Fred retired from his role as Quark’s CEO in February 2004. Current CEO Ray Schiavone took over as CEO in November 2006.

Quark’s press release is below.

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PLATINUM EQUITY ACQUIRES QUARK

 

Los Angeles, Calif. and Denver, Colo. (August 9, 2011)Platinum Equity announced today that it has acquired Quark, a provider of publishing software for professional designers and enterprise organizations.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Quark is a legendary brand that helped create the desktop publishing market and is now helping organizations transform how they publish content both to print and digital media,” said Brian Wall, partner at Platinum who led the team pursuing the acquisition. “Quark is committed to its loyal and dedicated user base and we are enthusiastic about the company’s new products which are gaining traction and generating positive reviews. We believe that with their expertise and innovative software, Quark has the potential to revolutionize publishing again.”

Based in Denver, Colo., Quark provides a set of software applications targeted at creative professionals and the enterprise dynamic publishing market. These tools are components in a value chain of software products that enable the creation, management, publication, and delivery of content across a variety of media including print, email, web, social media, and the next generation of e-reader, tablet and mobile devices such as the iPad.

“This transition comes at an exciting time for our company and our customers. In the past few years we have made great strides in helping our customers realize dynamic publishing, have re-invigorated QuarkXPress, and are ready to take an early leadership position in digital publishing,” said Raymond Schiavone, President and CEO at Quark. “Platinum Equity is well-positioned to help us continue to execute our dynamic publishing vision through their market reach, merger and acquisition experience, and operational support. This is the natural next step for Quark’s evolution.”

Mr. Wall said that Platinum Equity has already initiated a process focused on transitioning Quark to new ownership. The Platinum operations team is working together with the Quark management team to focus on Quark’s core markets and create an acquisition strategy focused on expanding the breadth and depth of Quark’s product capabilities and geographic coverage.

Quark customers with questions can email pr@quark.com.

About Quark

Quark Software Inc. (www.quark.com) is a leading provider of publishing software for professional designers, small and mid-sized businesses, and large organizations in more than 160 countries. Two decades ago, Quark’s flagship product — QuarkXPress — changed the course of traditional publishing. For more than 25 years, Quark has built on its knowledge and experience in design and publishing to provide software solutions that support collaborative workflows and automated publishing across multiple channels. Today, Quark is revolutionizing publishing again by setting new standards in XML-based publishing across print, the Web, and digital media, as well as by helping owners and employees of small and mid-sized businesses promote their products and services easily, professionally, and affordably. Denver-based Quark Inc. is privately held.

About Platinum Equity

Platinum Equity (www.platinumequity.com) is a global M&A&O® firm specializing in the merger, acquisition and operation of companies that provide services and solutions to customers in a broad range of business markets, including information technology, telecommunications, logistics, metals services, manufacturing and distribution. Since its founding in 1995 by Tom Gores, Platinum Equity has completed more than 115 acquisitions.

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.