WASHINGTON, April 17 Jostens, a leader in the
school ring and academic memento market, on Thursday said it had
dropped plans to acquire competitor American Achievement Corp -
a deal the Federal Trade Commission had said it would fight.
Minneapolis-based Jostens, which is owned by the private
marketing and publishing services firm Visant Holding Corp
, had announced in November that it would acquire
American Achievement in a $486 million deal.
Before the companies announced the deal was off, the FTC had
voted on Thursday to seek a preliminary injunction to block it
on the grounds that it would be anti-competitive.
"The parties' abandonment of the transaction preserves
competition for consumers in the markets for class rings, which
are an important memento for millions of high school and college
graduates across the country," said Deborah Feinstein, director
of the FTC's bureau of competition. "A combination of two of the
three leading manufacturers would have led to higher prices and
lower quality for the students and their parents who purchase
Marc Reisch, Visant's president and chief executive officer,
said the acquisition of American Achievement would not have hurt
"However, entering into a protracted litigation with the FTC
and the inherent cost and distraction is not in the best
interests of our stakeholders," he said.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz and Bill Trott; Writing by Bill
Trott; Editing by Bernard Orr)