Branch-Smith Asset Acquisition by Ovation Graphics Assures Solid Platform for Continuing Growth and Success

Daniel Hanson, President of Ovation Graphics LLC, has announced that Ovation Graphics, a privately-held company based in Fort Worth, has purchased substantially all of the business assets of Branch-Smith Printing Ltd. as of early December, 2011.

Ovation Graphics LLC is an affiliate of a growing family of printing companies that stretches from coast to coast and is involved in numerous areas of the printing industry.

Terms of the asset acquisition were not disclosed.

As part of its purchase, Ovation Graphics obtained the rights to the Branch-Smith name, continuing a 102 year-old tradition while concluding over 100 years of Branch family ownership.

“We believe there is significant inherent goodwill in the Branch-Smith name, and Ovation is honored to continue to use the Branch-Smith trade name while serving a growing field of clients locally and nationally from our Fort Worth headquarters,” said Mr. Hanson, who was also with Branch-Smith Printing Ltd. for over 14 years prior to the acquisition of its assets by Ovation Graphics.

Branch-Smith, the oldest printer in Tarrant County and the third oldest in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex, had 2010 gross sales of $15.3 million and currently has 80 employees. The company specializes in providing high quality creative, commercial printing, binding and mailing services to a broad range of national publishers of association journals, catalogs, city magazines, business-to-business magazines, corporate newsletters, special-interest periodicals, and academic publications and books, as well as producing large format packaging and retail marketing products.

Ovation is remodeling their 63,000 square foot office and plant facilities at 120 St. Louis Avenue just south of downtown Fort Worth. Soon to grace the walls will be replicas of the Branch-Smith company timeline, historic photos that recognize the remarkable heritage, and documents reflecting accolades, awards, and honors bestowed on Branch-Smith over the years.

Well respected in the national printing industry, Branch-Smith boasts tenure as the longest-running continuously ISO-certified commercial printer in the United States as well as being the only commercial printer in the United States, and one of only 92 companies nationwide, to have ever been awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award by the President of the United States. In addition, the company holds the Forest Stewardship Council Certification that assures consumers that the company uses environmentally-conscious printing standards to support well managed forests, controlled sources, and reclaimed materials use.

In the North Texas area, Ussery Printing Company, an Ovation Graphics affiliated company based in Irving, Texas, and Branch-Smith are among the most respected commercial printers in the market, as both rank in the top 20 commercial printing companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth area according to the Dallas Business Journal’s annually published “Book of Lists.”

Ovation continues a heritage that began over 100 years ago when Aaron Smith opened Smith Printing in 1910 in Fort Worth. Born without arms, Aaron learned to write and type with his toes, eventually earning an attorney's certificate in 1889 and working as an editor at the Weatherford Democrat in the early 1900s. By the 1920s, Smith and a group of investors revived Southern Florist magazine, which was discontinued during World War I because no coal was available to heat greenhouses. They published it weekly and set the stage for a burgeoning expansion of business into association publications. By 1954, Aaron’s daughter Carrie Beth and son-in-law Oscar Branch joined the business, incorporating as Branch-Smith.

Over the next few decades, the company expanded, adding a larger plant adjacent to the original home that had initially been used as both office and printing facility. More family members became involved, and in the 1970s Aaron’s grandson David Branch came on board and eventually led further expansion in the 1980s to increase total manufacturing space to over 45,000 square feet and added new presses and bindery equipment. By the close of the 20th century, Branch-Smith supported the move to desktop publishing with electronic prepress and printing infrastructure in place to expand into the digital age.

As reflected in the core values that have guided the enterprise since its founding, Ovation continues the Branch-Smith tradition of “…honoring God in the pursuit of excellence with integrity and commitment to customer success, all the while acting as wise stewards of precious natural resources.” Company headquarters and the main printing facility are located at 120 St. Louis Avenue in Fort Worth, TX.

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