Priority Inc, global leader in signage and branded environments, acquired by JFI and Rubelmann Capital

Priority Inc

Priority Inc. Is A Global Brand-Implementation Company That Transforms Major Commercial Brands Into Experiences Through Signage, Graphics And Branded Environments

New Ownership to Unlock Value by Driving Investment in Current Growth Strategies and New Customer Partnerships Across the Business

January 5, 2021 – Sheboygan, WI – JFI, the investment office of Mitchell Jacobson and his family, and Rubelmann Capital today announced the acquisition of Priority Inc., a global leader in corporate signage and branded environments. For 20 years, Priority has been the industry leader in working with the best-known corporations to showcase their brands to their employees, customers, communities and the world. Priority is ideally positioned to work with their current and future customers to reimagine immersive branded environments and experiences as workplaces and commercial spaces reopen. JFI and Rubelmann share a focus of acquiring growth businesses backed by long term capital to drive new investment behind their company’s core strategies. In addition to JFI, Mitchell Jacobson brings his decades of experience serving as CEO and now Chairman of MSC Industrial Direct Co., Inc. where he has overseen its long history of growth and led many of its innovations in its distribution business.

“We are thrilled to have completed this transaction with JFI and Rubelmann. This is the culmination of a comprehensive search process where we as a team wanted to find the right partner to take our business to the next level,” said Ron D’Alessandro, Chief Executive Officer of Priority Inc. “JFI and Rubelmann have demonstrated their strong faith in our company and our vision to transform the brand-implementation industry. We look forward to working with them and leveraging their experience in helping companies scale and attract new customers and partners to drive greater growth.”

“When we began our conversations with Ron and the Priority team, we knew immediately that this was a strong, innovative and forward-looking company with a wonderful culture that has significant growth potential,” said Mitchell Jacobson, Founder of JFI. “We look forwarding to working with our leadership team at Priority to enhance our capabilities, grow this company and drive the signage and branded environment business even further.”

 “Ron and the entire Priority family have built a truly remarkable business that has tremendous opportunities for growth,” said Peter Rappaport, Founder of Rubelmann Capital. “Priority’s best-in-class management team and history of winning and managing Fortune 500 clients will now be backed by a long-term capital partner that believes in the company’s customer acquisition and innovation strategy. Priority’s core signage business and the innovation behind its transformational branded environments present a significant opportunity to build new partnerships across a wide variety of sectors in the U.S. and around the world.” 

We look forward to working with our leadership team at Priority to enhance our capabilities, grow this company and drive the corporate signage and branded environment business even further.

Mitchell Jacobson Founder of JFI LLC

Strategic Rationale

  • Priority is uniquely positioned to continue its strong growth trajectory both within its well-developed corporate signage focused verticals and its emerging branded environments business. Priority has decades-long relationships with its existing large institutional customers as well as a strong pipeline of new customers looking to elevate their brands and signage. Priority has an exclusive and proprietary implementation model that enables the company to meet increased demands with consistency, quality and price consciousness.
  • As companies look to reimagine their exterior and interior branding when their offices and commercial spaces reopen, Priority’s Branded Environments integrated offering will allow current and future customers transform their brands into living, breathing experiences through flawlessly executed signage, graphics and environments. With increased investment and reach, Priority is aggressively moving to define and lead the innovation in this sector and become the premier provider in this space.
  • Transitioning from an ESOP to a wholly-owned structure will free up significant capital to invest in innovation and the company’s core growth strategies while maintaining the existing corporate culture. The new structure will streamline decision making, enhance efficiency and give Priority a greater ability to take advantage of potential strategic growth opportunities.


Governance, Management and Financial Details

The transaction was overwhelmingly approved by Priority’s employees (Priority had been structured as an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)) and closed immediately upon approval by the employees. Upon closing, Priority’s ESOP formally ended with the company now wholly owned by JFI, Rubelmann and their partners.

Priority will continue to operate under the leadership of CEO Ron D’Alessandro and the current management team.

Financial terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

About Priority Inc.

Founded in 1997, Priority Inc. is a global turnkey brand implementation company that helps its customers brand their spaces through signage, graphics and branded environments. Priority has worked with global leaders across many business segments including financial services, fitness, telecommunications, restaurant, retail, healthcare and corporate facilities. The company is headquartered in Sheboygan, WI and maintains regional offices across the U.S. including Atlanta, GA; Brookings, SD; Charleston, SC; Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; Jacksonville, FL; Knoxville, TN; Minneapolis, MN; New York, NY; Pella, IA; Racine, WI.

About JFI

JFI was formed in 1997 as the investment office for Mitchell Jacobson and his family members. Mitchell Jacobson is currently Chairman of MSC Industrial Direct Co., Inc. (“MSC”), the company founded by his father Sidney Jacobson in 1941. Mitchell began his career in 1978 and became President of MSC in 1982. During his tenure, Mitchell was responsible for driving its long history of growth and leading many of its innovations in its distribution business. MSC went public in 1995. MSC now does in excess of $3 billion in sales today and employees more than 6,000 employees and 3,000 suppliers. For over the past 20 years, JFI has pursued a diversified investment strategy including many direct investments in operating businesses such as being part of the lead investment consortium that acquired HD Supply from Home Depot. He was an investor and actively engaged with the HD SUpply through due diligence, its turnaround and public offering. Mitchell is an investor and director of Ambrosia Holdings (the owner of TriMark which is the country’s largest provider of design services, equipment and supplies to the foodservice industry with over $2 billion in annual revenue and 3,200 employees). 


About Rubelmann Capital

Founded by Peter Rappaport, Rubelmann Capital is an independent sector focused middle market private equity rm. Rubelmann seeks to partner with existing management teams and acquire control positions in growing business in Technology and Media, Industrials, and Financial Services. It's base of LP's allows Rubelmann to provide management teams with investors and board members who are experienced business operators, nancial managers, industry professional with global networks and relationships all of which can be leveraged to expand opportunities and drive increased growth for our companies. Working with these types of LP's allows Rubelmann Capital to be comfortable with much longer holding periods than typical private equity funds. Prior to starting Rubelmann, Peter served as a partner at RZ Capital, a NYC based multi-family ofce, where he helped manage investments in a diversied portfolio across public and private markets. Peter previously led a management buyout of Backstage and served as executive chairman from 2013 through 2018.


Josh Vlasto