Sedalia-based Inter-State Studio & Publishing Co. acquired Dameron Color Labs Inc., a Springfield printing firm that does business as Black River Imaging in Partnership Industrial Center.
Terms of the Dec. 31 deal were not disclosed.
Ed Sanders, president of Inter-State Studio, said the Springfield professional print shop would continue to operate under the Black River Imaging name and all 100 employees were retained.
Roy Dameron, co-founder and president of Black River Imaging, remains the company’s president, Sanders said, and David Williams of Inter-State Studio has joined the Springfield staff as its general manager.
Dameron declined to be interviewed for this story and referred questions to an e-mail statement prepared for customers.
Sanders said the Inter-State acquisition started with conversations between Williams and Dameron Labs owners Roy and Martha Dameron – who have known each other for more than 20 years from previous work in photo equipment sales.
“(The Damerons) just reached a point to where they were looking ahead to changing their plans as they got closer to retirement ages, and they were concerned about the continuity of the business,” Sanders said. “Inter-State has known the Damerons for quite a long time and we got to talking. They expressed what their desires were, and we were interested in expansion.”
In the statement to its customers, Dameron said the acquisition would facilitate retirement plans.
“After 41 years, my wife, Martha, and I were presented with an option to move toward retirement and have accepted,” Dameron wrote. “Our companies have known each other for decades with a great deal of mutual respect.”
Sanders said Roy Dameron has no immediate plans to retire.
Black River Imaging, 2525 N. Partnership Blvd. in the city’s Partnership Industrial Park, provides photographic, metal and fine art prints for professional photographers, as well as business and greeting cards, posters and other print services. The transaction encompassed the stock of Dameron Color Labs, which includes the 33,000-square-foot facility, its photo-finishing equipment and customer lists, Sanders said.
Inter-State Studio is approaching its 80th year in business, providing families and schools with photographic services such as yearbook and team sports portraits. Sanders said the private company employs 600 full-time and another 500 to 600 seasonal employees.
Revenues for the companies were not disclosed.
Williams said he began working at Black River Imaging on Jan. 3, and he’ll split time between Springfield and Sedalia. He said he’s known the Damerons for nearly all of the 30 years he’s been in the imaging industry.
“I’m pretty familiar with how the lab operates, and my role is to be the liaison between the Black River facility and Inter-State Studio, as well as work closely with the marketing organization with Black River to look for opportunities to grow the business,” Williams said. “Operationally, we’re not planning on making any changes.”
Williams said Inter-State Studio and Black River Imaging operate separately and serve different segments of the professional photography market. Though he declined to name business clients and said 2012 revenue projections were still being determined, he felt the company was poised for growth.
“When (the Damerons) rebranded the company to Black River Imaging and began exhibiting again at major industry trade shows, it was clear that they were approaching the market with a level of energy I’ve never seen before,” Williams said of the name change in 2008. “I think (Black River) is on a great trajectory for growth, and I’m excited about being part of that process.”
According to the Greene County recorder’s office, real estate in the Partnership Industrial Center was granted to Generation 4 LLC from the Roy L. and Martha J. Dameron Trust in the amount of $4 million. Aric Snyder is the owner of Inter-State Studio and Generation 4, according to Sanders.
“That was a real estate purchase by Generation 4 that was related to the business from the Damerons,” Sanders said.[[In-content Ad]]