Rowmark (“Rowmark”) is a manufacturer and marketer of decorative plastic sheet and related products for the awards/recognition, engraving and signage markets. Based in Findlay, Ohio with locations in Belgium and North Carolina during Clearview’s ownership, Rowmark specialized in the manufacture of thin gauge plastic sheet, which can be engraved to produce signage, name plates and tags, trophy plaques and other products. Rowmark was the dominant producer of plastic sheet for these applications in North America and had a growing share of these products worldwide. The company’s Premier Material Concepts (“PMC”) division produced single and multi-ply sheet products from engineered resins for use primarily in thermoforming applications in a variety of end markets.


When Rowmark’s absentee family ownership decided to seek liquidity for their long-held investment, they gave management the opportunity to seek for and choose a partner to complete a management buyout. After interviewing a number of well-known strategic and financial buyers and completing extensive reference checks, management determined that Clearview best understood the company’s unique culture and would be the best partner to safeguard and build upon the company’s historical record of success.

Investment Date: December 2006
Investment Status: Exited September 2013
Fund Equity Invested: $16.5 million
Process Type: Negotiated after a broker introduction

Post Acquisitions Initiatives

Management Augmentation:

  • Recruited an experienced CFO with international experience to keep pace with the company’s growing international operations.
  • Hired two talented, high profile managers to lead rapid growth in the PMC division.

Operational Improvements:

  • Completed the consolidation of the European operations from three locations to a more efficient single facility.
  • Implemented a new ERP system to replace a legacy system originally designed to support a single, domestic-only operation.

Organic Growth:

  • Gained market share in Europe, despite declining economic activity in the region.
  • Grew international sales in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.
  • Invested heavily to expand the main manufacturing facility in Ohio to accommodate 40%+ annual revenue growth in the PMC division.

Acquisition Growth:

  • Initiated and completed the buyout of a 50% JV partner in Europe, which eliminated issues stemming from divergent objectives.
  • Completed four additional add-on acquisitions that allowed Rowmark to vertically integrate into film and foil production, gain market share in decorated sheet for thermoforming applications, and add new product lines.
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