Stran & Co. Seals the Deal on Acquisition of Trend Brand Solutions

Stran & Co. Seals the Deal on Acquisition of Trend Brand Solutions

The Boston-area Top 40 distributor believes the move will help accelerate business growth in Texas and elsewhere in the South.

Stran & Company (asi/337725), a Top 40 promotional products distributor, has completed its acquisition of the assets and business of Tomball, TX-based distributorship Trend Brand Solutions (asi/346428). Financial terms of the deal were not immediately released.

Trend Brand CEO Michael Krauser will be joining Stran as a regional vice president, heading up the Quincy, MA-based distributorship’s operations in the Texas region. Stran is also retaining Trend Brand employees.

Stran executives said the acquisition will help the company accelerate sales growth in Texas and the greater South. It’s part of a focused strategy in which Stran aims to grow both organically and through acquisitions. More such deals could be forthcoming.

“We remain committed to our M&A growth strategy, targeting acquisitions that are highly synergistic with our existing operations and support the expansion of our products and services into new geographies,” said Andy Shape, president/CEO of Stran. “With this acquisition, we are broadening our presence in the South and entering the Houston market, which ranks third among metro areas in Fortune 500 headquarter locations and is home to two dozen Fortune 500 companies.”

Shape said retaining Krauser and other Trend Brand employees is an important win.

“We are thrilled to have Michael join the team given his success with Trend, as well as delighted to welcome the entire Trend team to the Stran family,” Shape said.

Stran & Co.’s profile in promo has been on the rise. In this Promo Insiders podcast recorded earlier this year, CEO Andy Shape discusses becoming a publicly traded company, acquisitions, the future of the industry and more.

Trend Brand launched in 2010. The company has what Stran described as a proprietary technology – SMART BUY custom buying sites – that reduces friction in the buying/fulfillment process.

Annually, Trend is said to build more than 100 SMART BUY sites while managing over 35,000 website transactions and shipping over 8,000 orders from inventory. Trend ships globally from its Houston, TX-area distribution center and has international factory partnerships to source as close to the end-user as possible, according to Stran.

“This is an exciting time to be joining the Stran team as they have established themselves as a leader within the industry and are committed to growth and expansion around the nation,” Krauser said. “Trend is proud to become part of this growth, and I’m thrilled that I will be leading Stran’s Texas region to create additional awareness of Stran in this growing market.”

Stran publicly announced its intention to acquire Trend Brand in July.

Stran became a publicly traded company in late 2021. The firm has been active with acquisitions of late, closing on Gloucester, MA-based distributorship GAP Promotions in February 2022. Stran also acquired Indiana-based promo firm Wildman Imprints in 2020.

Based on reported 2021 North American promo product revenue of $47.3 million, Stran ranked 34 on Counselor’s most recent list of the largest companies in the industry.

In August, Stran reported that it generated sales of $14.8 million in the second quarter of 2022 – a 72.5% increase over the same period the prior year and a company record. Still, in the quarter, Stran recorded a net loss of about $447,000, or -$0.02 per basic share, as a result of various heavier expenses. The firm expects a return to strong profitability.  

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