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Poised for Growth

YORK Label has used acquisitions and innovation-driven organic growth to position itself as a major force in the label industry.

June 2010 By Tom Polischuk
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Some companies are old; some are new; and some, such as Omaha, Neb.-based YORK Label (, are both old and new.

The "new" YORK Label was formed in early 2006 when management and a private-equity sponsor acquired York Tape & Label of York, Pa. and Industrial Label Corporation (ILC) of Omaha, Neb., says Mike Polcyn, chief financial officer. Both of these companies had their roots in the mid-1900s, with York Tape & Label starting up in 1947 and ILC being founded in 1961.

The new entity grew up fast, acquiring the operations of several high-quality label converters in the U.S. and Canada. The acquisitions started late in 2006 and continue to this day with the latest acquisition, Southern Atlantic Label of Chesapeake, Va. In addition, YORK Label has an international presence with a joint venture in South America.

"Our mission is to be the premier global provider of high-quality, cost-effective, innovative labeling solutions to our customers," states John McKernan, president and CEO. "Our core values include a commitment to the highest level of integrity and transparency in all our activities, while maintaining the highest level of respect towards the environment and our associates, customers, suppliers, and local communities. We are also committed to attracting and retaining exceptional associates in our organization and providing them with a safe environment and personal development opportunities, all while generating an attractive return for our shareholders."

YORK Label 2010

Today, the company has 10 manufacturing facilities in North America with approximately 80 printing presses and 800 associates. In addition, the South American joint venture has two production facilities in Chile.

As a result of acquisitions, YORK has several diverse equipment platforms across the company that it has supplemented with recent acquisitions of modern press equipment. "This allows us to add value for our customers with world-class printing capabilities—including graphics and label constructions—and a wide range of processes and materials," says Dave Klotter, vice president of sales and marketing. YORK's printing capabilities run the gamut—flexo, combination flexo/screen, roll and sheetfed offset, gravure, and digital.

YORK Label also provides its customers with full-service, state-of-the-art graphics and prepress capabilities. "Our graphics departments support the latest versions of industry-standard application software," says Klotter. "This allows us to work with a wide variety of customer-supplied files, no matter what application is used. In addition, we also help customers with early artwork development and color separation support, as well as full prototype and sales sample services."



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