Members of Allegra Network LLC’s leadership team, the leading franchise network of nearly 500 marketing, print, and sign companies (including the Signs Now brand), have reached an agreement to invest in an entity that will purchase the assets of Signs By Tomorrow, Inc., a 162-unit network of firms providing indoor and outdoor signage, exhibit displays, vehicle wraps, and other large-scale graphics. The transaction is expected to close by the end of February. The new entity will continue to do business as Signs By Tomorrow.
Investors from Allegra Network include Mike Marcantonio, majority investor, President and CEO, along with other members of the company’s leadership team. Signs By Tomorrow Chairman Joe McGuinness, President Ray Palmer and Vice President of Operations Andrew Akers, also will be investors in the new company. Non-management stockholders George and Judith Coolidge and Gina McGuinness have elected to redeem their stock and will not have an interest in the new company. During the course of the next three years, Joe McGuinness will sell his interest as he moves into retirement.
Allegra Network LLC, founded in 1976, has nearly 500 locations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Its existing network of 180+ sign and large-scale graphics companies operate under the Signs Now brand. Its network of 300+ franchisees providing marketing and printing services operate primarily under the Allegra, Insty-Prints, and American Speedy Printing Centers brands. The company is headquartered in Plymouth, Mich., and reports nearly $300 million in system-wide sales, ranking among the Top 200 global franchises.
Signs By Tomorrow, Inc., located in Columbia, Md., was founded in 1986 by Joe McGuinness, a marketing executive for a major retailer. Today, the company includes 162 franchisees operating in 36 states with system-wide sales approaching $70 million.
According to Marcantonio, “Our investment will provide Joe McGuinness a well-deserved exit strategy over the next three years and represents a sound investment in a business with which we are very familiar. While Signs By Tomorrow and Signs Now will remain separate companies, we expect that over time both of our organizations and all franchise members will benefit from this alliance.”
“This is a watershed moment for our company in terms of securing a strong succession strategy and added value for our franchise members," says McGuinness. “As the founder of this organization, I took great care in handpicking a successor in Ray Palmer and financial partners in the members of Allegra Network that would take care of our franchise members with the same care that we have. I plan to remain invested and active for the next three years to ensure a smooth transition. Allegra Network brings financial strength, leadership, and resources to help our organization continue to grow and keep pace with the rapid changes occurring in the graphic communications world. We are extremely pleased to call this group of investors our partners for the future. We share a deep commitment to providing our franchise members with the instrumental tools to enhance and grow their businesses.”
The management team of Signs By Tomorrow, Inc. will remain intact and all operational support for franchise members will continue from its headquarters in Columbia, Md. Some administrative functions will be moved to Allegra Network offices in Plymouth, Mich.