BurdgeCooper and The Ligature to Join Forces

The Ligature and BurdgeCooper LogosI am excited to announce that BurdgeCooper and The Ligature, two of Southern California’s most well respected specialty printers will be joining forces on February 1, 2014. Both companies are headquartered in Los Angeles and together they will create a unique printing and engraving company in both scale and manufacturing capability. The Ligature has operations in Los Angeles and Berkeley while BurdgeCooper has sales and customer service support in Atlanta and Denver. Initially, both companies will continue to operate their respective Los Angeles facilities with a plan to integrate them into The Ligature facility by the end of 2014.

Both BurdgeCooper and The Ligature brands will continue to be individually supported and represented in the marketplace as they are today. There are many customer benefits that will come from our new alliance with The Ligature. The product portfolio of both BurdgeCooper and The Ligature will be expanded, our collective technology solutions will be enhanced, and our manufacturing capabilities will uniquely service our diverse customer base.  Both organizations will remain steadfast in maintaining their personal sales support efforts to their respective customers. Each brand will continue to directly interface and offer solutions to the design community and company marketers while also meeting the needs of our legal, financial, governmental and other specialized customer organizations.

BurdgeCooper was formed in 2010 following a merger of Burdge Inc. and Stuart F. Cooper while The Ligature was purchased by Taylor Corporation in 2011.  Both companies have a long history in high end engraving, letterpress and thermography with broad capabilities in both offset and digital printing.  In this transaction The Ligature, a division of Taylor, will acquire the assets of BurdgeCooper.

Charlie Whitaker, Executive Vice President of Taylor and Don Burdge

Charlie Whitaker, Executive Vice President of Taylor, with Don Burdge President of BurdgeCooper

The merger of three of Southern California’s great brands began as an idea in 2009 when The Ligature and I began talking about combining our two companies.  These discussions were deferred by other priorities but the vision was not forgotten.

I then approached the other major printing and engraving company in our market, Stuart F. Cooper and like The Ligature and Burdge, Inc. they too had experienced a need for reinvention within the engraving market.   This led to the formation of BurdgeCooper on July 1, 2010.

The following year we learned that The Ligature was sold to Taylor Corporation of North Mankato, Minnesota.  With more than 9,000 employees working at over 80 subsidiaries in 20 states and eight countries Taylor, still a family owned business founded in 1975, is one of the top ten graphics communications companies in North America and one of the largest privately held companies in the country.  After learning of The Ligature acquisition we approached the executives at Taylor to see if there would be any interest in selling The Ligature back to us.  They politely declined but mentioned that one day they may be interested in buying BurdgeCooper.

Don Burdge sharing his vision of the future at The Ligature production facility.

Don Burdge sharing his vision of the future at The Ligature production facility.

This then set the table for discussions to begin between BurdgeCooper and The Ligature.  Those discussions began in the summer of 2013.  Both parties agreed that it would be a good idea to combine our two companies, only 4 miles apart, into one operating plant.  Additionally we recognized the combined talent in sales, marketing, and production.  This led to our signing a sales agreement this past Monday with a close scheduled for January 31, 2014.

Going forward, all of the employees of BurdgeCooper have been offered jobs with Taylor.  I have agreed to take on the role of president for both BurdgeCooper and The Ligature responsible for the sales and marketing of both brands.  Dave Overgaard will continue to have responsibility for manufacturing and production of BurdgeCooper products while overseeing the successful integration of our two plants into The Ligature facility.  This integration is expected to be completed by the end of 2014 and will allow for a full two shift production facility to better serve the demands of our customers.

With the combined talent of over 100 years of engraving and printing experience into one production facility we have the experience to know where printing has been, the vision to know where it is going, and the strength to be part of its future.  Even as the printing industry continues to evolve, ultimately the products we make are still those that are held in your hand.  The tactile experience that fine paper, engraving, embossing and letterpress leave cannot be replicated on a touch screen.  We see the demand for fine printing in a variety of products not just with business cards, letterheads and envelopes.  With sales and service representatives spread across the country and the depth of the Taylor organization we are now poised to fill that demand better than any other printing and engraving company in California or the country.

Charlie Whitaker and Don Burdge at The Ligature plant

Charlie Whitaker of Taylor Corporation welcoming BurdgeCooper to the Taylor family

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