Patch Products Inc. — a Beloit, Wisconsin manufacturer of games, puzzles and toys — has announced that it has agreed to buy Smethport Specialty Co., the maker of Lauri brand toys and specialty products.
The acquisition is expected to expand Patch Products‘ offerings of specialty products. Smethport Specialty’s products include educational games and activity sets, including the classic toy Wooly Willy. The company has been in operation since 1923.
“Smethport Specialty Co. creates a strong strategic fit with Patch Products and will expand its manufacturing, sales and distribution operations for specialty products worldwide,” said Fran Patch, chairman and CEO of Patch. “By combining Smethport’s product development and specialty market expertise with Patch Products’ existing marketing and distribution capabilities, we expect to enhance our presence in the educational and toy industry.”
“Smethport’s products are highly complementary to our own existing game and puzzle product portfolio,” said Bryce Patch, president of Patch Products. “With Patch’s distribution network, we expect significant growth for the core product lines of each business, in addition to the new products that will be generated as a result of our collaborative efforts.”
Operations in Smethport to Continue
“One aspect that makes this so advantageous is the continuity of operations,” said Scott Cavagnaro, president of Smethport Specialty Co. “Patch Products will achieve a seamless transition, and Smethport Specialty will gain access to additional resources while still maintaining its present operations.”
“This presents an excellent opportunity for Smethport Specialty to expand into markets and product lines that traditionally we have not pursued,” said Rob Daggett, chairman of Smethport Specialty Co. “Patch Products has marketing capabilities and resources that will benefit Smethport through increased exposure, and Smethport will lend its history and creative expertise in the specialty market to develop new products that will appeal to a wide range of consumers. This is just a great blend of products and resources for both companies.”
Fran Patch said the acquisition would allow his company to combine Smethport’s product development and specialty market expertise with Patch’s existing marketing and distribution capabilities.
Patch will continue to run the business from its headquarters in Smethport, said Lisa Wuennemann, director of marketing for Patch. Employees in Beloit and Smethport will collaborate on joint product development and marketing efforts. “Now we will have a wider variety of products to sell,” she said.
Smethport’s owners, Chairman Rob Daggett and President Scott Cavagnaro, will leave the company, Wuennemann said. Daggett and Cavagnaro bought Smethport 15 years ago and expanded the business in 2003 by acquiring Lauri, a Maine manufacturer of educational toys.
Patch was founded in 1985 by brothers Fran and Bryce Patch. The brothers originally had a printing company, which printed the Tribond game. They converted into a game business by buying Tribond from its owner.
Patch distributes its games mainly to mass retailers, grocery chains and regional department stores, while Smethport sells to specialty stores and educational retailers.
Patch’s top-selling games include Buzzword, What’s Yours Like?, Toss Up!, Swap! and Jeff Foxworthy’s game, ‘You Might Be a Redneck If . . .’