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The historic Fournier card cards seek new owner

The firm of Vitoria, which is almost 150 years old, is in benefits because its decks are used in glamorous casinos and home timbas from around the world

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The historic Fournier card cards seek new owner

A dealer is handing out letters in Las Vegas. Anor one in Monte Carlo. and several more in Venice, Estoril, Monaco or Manila. What do y have in common? The cards with which ir clients play, wher y are tourists or presidents, gamblers or professional players, and for discounted kings and queens — such as England at exclusive Les Ambassadeurs Club — manufactures in Vitoria Fournier cards company. Now it's for sale. About to turn 150 years of providing a material that shares security secrets with mint to avoid forgeries, hear offers after strategic decision of its owner, American Newell Brands, to focus ir business on Or types of markets.

For Vitoria is not a sale any. Since Heraclio Fournier tiles joined United States Playing Card Company in 1986 — Jarden Corporation group — its share in world card market exceeds 35%. All of South Africa's casinos play with ir cards, as well as 90% of Europeans and 70% of Latin Americans and Middle East. In 2017 of its lines left more than 10 million of Barajas, its ebitda was of 40 million euros and, what is more important for Newell, it gave benefits.

Families from seven countries

The children of several generations grew up playing with letters of families from seven countries. In addition to classic Spanish deck, or those of Pocker, company manufactures children's cards as it has licenses of Nickelodeon, Marvel or Disney, among ors, to do so.

But its deck families from 7 countries,-Mexican, Chinese, Bantu, Eskimo, Arabic, Indian and Tyrolean-, which drew for company famous illustrator Vitoriano of Tales of time, Jose Luis Lopez Fernandez, was one that shone most among children's audience since 1965 Put on market. In fact it is estimated that since n more than ten million cards have been sold from this game. José Luis López signed hundreds of illustrated children's stories, in a time when rectangular format was abandoned by die-cut edges.

Now poker-bridge models are star product in Caribbean casinos, in Europe, in South Africa, Middle East, Asia and South America. Fournier tiles is also only approved supplier for gaming halls in Spain.

What is your selling price? Sources in sector estimate that between seven and twelve times ir EBITDA (i.e. up to 480 million euros). It is a reasonable figure, given that y grow each passing year, not only in billing and production — both in Spanish and US factories — but in generating resources, in pre-tax profits and in net. "We have a guarantee that Newell will have our opinion in sale operation, and that, although it has been marked two years to make decision, re is no hurry, it is to choose well," says director of firm Vitoria , Javier Berasategui.

Following merger in April 2016 of Jarden Corporation with Newell Rubbermaid, New corporation, under name of Newell Brands, has been redesigning its future in mass consumer goods market. The cards don't fit into your new scheme. In Vitoria, however, Fournier cards remains an institution despite work of 60 people from nearly 1,500 who had been in middle of last century.

In 1877 Heraclio, a descendant of some printers from Paris, commissioned professor of School of Arts and Crafts of Vitoria Emilio Soubrier and painter Diaz de Olano design of a card. He won first prize at Paris Universal exhibition in 1889, year of inauguration of Eiffel Tower. The entrepreneur appeared in Ace of Gold, forerunner of Spanish deck with which it is still played, and whose clubs are gold, cups, swords and clubs

In addition, re is no crisis in game sector. "In fact, 2009 was year of Poker and in 2010 we had record production, and we were at heart of general crisis. It was also excellent in Spanish and Catalan shuffle, ' explains Berasategui. In Catalan, sticks are same, but shapes change. They are not only differences, in fact, y have about 1,500 catalog references. The Catalan deck has a wide market in Venezuela and Argentina. But we must change faces and letters, also for casinos of Arab countries in which it is played, such as Morocco, Egypt and Lebanon.

But re are also things that don't change. The majority of employment is, still, of women in plant of Vitoria. "The cards were famous. In Vitoria y were an institution because y had a position, economic independence and social relevance, "explains Marketing director, Diego Ruiz de Gauna. Nor has exclusivity of raw material changed. "The formula of composition of letters is secret, like that of Coca-Cola", compares Berasategui, "and suppliers are subject to strict contracts of exclusivity".

In fact, plant that firm has toger with Vitoria has enormous security boxes in which specific, visible and invisible inks, which demand some casinos, and part of production, which are delivered to client's demand, are stored. "These invisible inks are for eye, but not for security cameras, and that allows you to control if someone has cast non-house cards, and refore marked," explains Ruiz de Gauna. "It's not just that casino is not deceived, but that players do it on an equal footing," he says.


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