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BTA Hotline: News

Visual Edge Makes 21st, 22nd Acquisitions

Tuesday, March 6, 2018  
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If you had told Randy Muntean, founder of CopyRight, Canton, Ohio, that the company he built from scratch would one day be united with its fiercest competitor, he may not have believed you. But the 30-year legacy of a hands-on, customer-focused owner is just what made CopyRight the perfect choice for Visual Edge Technology's 21st office technology dealership acquisition.

The move is in line with Visual Edge's strategy of buying strong dealerships, namely smaller ones like CopyRight, and uniting them with one of the company's existing businesses, like Graphic Enterprises.

The two dealerships have long competed with one another, but had "a healthy respect for one another," said Brian Frank, president and COO, Visual Edge, and president, Graphic Enterprises. So much so, that when Muntean was looking to retire and enjoy the fruits of his labor, he reached out to Frank.

In a letter sent to CopyRight customers earlier this month, Muntean wrote that it was important to find a local company that could carry on his legacy.

"Graphic Enterprises has been a leader in the industry for nearly 50 years and I am confident that they will carry on CopyRight's legacy of excellent service on a consistent basis," Muntean said.

"He really respected the way we have taken care of our customers over the years," Frank said. "He was really looking out for his customers and he chose us. This will be a seamless transition, with the only real change being the name. The customers chose to work with CopyRight for a reason, and I want to allow them to continue with the same feeling, as if they were still working with Randy."

With strategic growth plans ahead for Graphic Enterprises, Frank added: "There are a lot of entrepreneurs out there who are looking for someone to partner with so eventually they have an exit strategy. This is a win-win for CopyRight and Graphic Enterprises."

In other news, Visual Edge Technology has made its 22nd acquisition with Joel Longtin's office technology companies, COUNSEL and Midwest Office Automations (MOA).

"As we continue to build out our national strategy, our focus remains seeking successful entrepreneurs, like Joel Longtin, who want to join our strategy," said David Ramos, vice president of business planning and analysis, Visual Edge.

COUNSEL and MOA are total office solution providers of copier/MFPs, printers, 3D printers, document management solutions and IT services. While Visual Edge provides back-room efficiencies and administrative support to both organizations, the day-to- day operations of the companies will remain unchanged, serving the western half of Iowa (COUNSEL), led by Mark Rasmussen, and the eastern half of Nebraska (MOA), led by TJ Goltl.

"Joel will continue to run both operations the same way he has since the day he owned them," Ramos said. "We wanted COUNSEL and MOA for a few reasons — Joel's extensive business acumen, his company track record of success and the footprint of both businesses."

The company, founded 27 years ago, is no stranger to mergers. In fact, COUNSEL and MOA are the products of four previous acquisitions. In 2004, Joel and Karen Longtin bought Bro Business of Harlan, Iowa, and changed the name to COUNSEL. In a strategic move in 2011, the Longtins acquired MOA and expanded their technology offerings to Nebraska, maintaining the leadership position of its minority partner, Goltl.

"Successful businesses are driven by the satisfaction of their customers and their employees, and I am constantly evaluating how we can deliver the absolute best experience for both," Longtin said. "In an industry that is rapidly evolving and consolidating, this partnership supports COUNSEL and MOA now and into the future."

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