Press Release

Mason Wells Acquires Pacon Corporation - November 2011

For more information, contact: Tom Smith, Senior Managing Director of Mason Wells, 414-727-6400


MILWAUKEE, WI (November 2, 2011) – Mason Wells announced today that it has closed on an acquisition of Pacon Corporation (“Pacon”) from The Van Hoof Companies. The business will be owned by Mason Wells, current management and other co-investors.

With facilities in Appleton and Neenah, Wis., as well as Barrie, Ontario, Pacon primarily sells its products into two markets: school and art. In the school market, Pacon is a leading converter and marketer of consumable school supplies sold under numerous brands, including Peacock, Tru-Ray, and Fadeless, to the K-8 market. In the art market, Pacon is a leading converter and marketer of art papers sold primarily under the Strathmore Artist Papers™ brand to student, professional and recreational artists.

Since its inception in 1951, Pacon has become a well-recognized provider of innovative, premium products in its markets. The employees and suppliers of Pacon, as well as the communities of Wisconsin’s Fox River Valley, have played an integral role in the company’s success and will continue to do so in the future.

“Mason Wells is pleased to be partnering with Pacon’s management team to support the company’s growth initiatives,” said Tom Smith, senior managing director of Mason Wells. “The company’s skilled workforce, low-cost manufacturing capabilities, strong brands, talented sales organization, and experienced management team are all factors that have allowed the company to consistently meet the expectations of its customers. We believe the company provides an excellent platform for growth and is well positioned to capitalize on a number of market and new product opportunities.”

Since the mid-1980s, Mason Wells has invested in numerous Midwest-based companies in the packaging and packaged goods industry.

“We are very excited about our new partnership with Mason Wells,” said Jim Schmitz, President, and CEO of Pacon. “Their experience from years of successfully building a packaging and packaged goods companies will provide Pacon with the resources necessary to support our long-term growth initiatives.

With Mason Wells’ strong financial backing and the network of resources, we look forward to continuing to serve our customers with innovative, high-quality, consumable school products, educational aids, and arts & crafts products.” Senior financing for the transaction was provided by U.S. Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Associated Bank, BMO Harris Bank, and PNC Bank. Mezzanine financing was provided by PNC Mezzanine. Reinhart Boerner and Quarles & Brady LLP served as legal counsel to Mason Wells.

About Mason Wells
Mason Wells is a leading Midwest-based private equity firm that manages over $800 million of capital through the Mason Wells Buyout Funds. Since 1982, Mason Wells has closed more than 80 transactions through the Mason Wells Buyout Funds and its predecessor funds. Mason Wells focuses its investments in the Engineered Products & Services, Packaging and Packaged Goods, and Outsourced Business Services industries. For more information relating to Mason Wells, please visit

About Pacon
Pacon Corporation is a manufacturer, converter, and supplier of paper products, educational aids, and arts & crafts products, and markets its products worldwide. With facilities in Appleton and Neenah, Wis., as well as Barrie, Ontario, Pacon primarily sells its products into two markets: school and art. In the school market, Pacon is a leading converter and marketer of consumable school supplies sold under numerous brands, including Peacock, Tru-Ray and Fadeless to the K-8 market. In the art market, Pacon is a leading converter and marketer of art papers sold primarily under the Strathmore Artist Papers™ brand to student, professional and recreational artists. Pacon Corporation operates under the names Pacon Corporation, Strathmore Artist Papers™, Bemiss Jason, Baywood ULC, and Superior Specialties, Inc. For more information relating to Pacon, please visit and

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