Parent of yearbook and class ring supplier Herff Jones up for sale -sources

Fri Aug 8, 2014 11:50am EDT

Aug 8 (Reuters) - The parent of yearbook and class ring company Herff Jones is exploring a sale of the whole corporation that could fetch up to $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Indianapolis-based Varsity Brands Inc, whose businesses also include sporting apparel company BSN Sports and cheerleading uniform maker Varsity Spirit, has hired Jefferies LLC to assist with a potential sale, the people said.

Varsity Brands could not be reached for comment. Jefferies declined to comment.

Herff Jones announced it would buy Varsity Brands in 2011. It acquired BSN Sports in 2013 for $460 million and rebranded the entire company under the Varsity Brands banner in June.

The combined company has roughly $800 million in sales and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of around $100 million, the people said.

Founded in 1920, Herff Jones manufacturers class rings, yearbooks, caps and gowns, and graduation diplomas. It also makes awards, including the Naismith award for college basketball athletes and championship rings, including the Super Bowl XLI rings for the Indianapolis Colts.

The company became 100 percent employee-owned in 1995. (Editing by Jonathan Oatis)