Hoffmaster is a high-quality manufacturer of disposable tabletop products including Napkins, Placemats, Tablecovers, Coasters and Fluted Edge Doilies. The company was founded in 1947 by BT Hoffmaster. They were sold to Scott Paper in 1985. And since then they have been bought out five more times, including purchases by 3 different equity firms (in 2007, 2011 and 2016).
The multiple ownership groups slowed new product development as staffing changes had to be integrated and equipment was moved between plants. In 2001, Hoffmaster’s management team became aware of an opportunity to incorporate a new technology for a food service napkin. No action was taken at that time, but in 2004, a magazine article rekindled their interest. At that time, they were owned by Solo Cup, so they had the required scale to pursue a capital investment for the business. In January 2006, after significant research, including development of a marketing plan, operations timeline, sales forecasting, and payback analysis, a written justification was presented and an implementation team was formed. In April 2006, the machine was ordered from a vendor in Germany.
As the machine was being built in 2007, Hoffmaster was sold to a private equity firm. A significant change in….
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