Desktop Publishing Software Company Quark Acquired by Platinum Equity

Following yesterday’s news of Say Media acquiring Remodelista, this is shaping up to be the week of design-based buyouts. Early yesterday, the Denver-based publishing software company Quark announced that it has been acquired by the California-based private equity firm, Platinum Equity. Like with most purchases, the promise is immediately made that everything will stay relatively the same, thus appeasing dedicated users. “This wasn’t an exit play; it was a very specific opportunity to find an investment partner,” Quark’s CEO told the Denver Business Journal, who went on to write that “the deal won’t change Quark’s headquarters location, executives or employment numbers.” However, even with these reassurances, just the mention of an “exit move” indicates how Quark has struggled after losing its dominance in the publishing and design market to Adobe over the past decade, which seemed to have knocked it off its bearings to a considerable degree (DesignInfo has a great, quick overview of how the company has fared over the past 10+ years). Whether or not this new management can turn things around and head the company in the right direction is anyone’s guess, but it will be interesting to see how it all pans out regardless. Here’s a bit from Quark President and CEO, Ray Schiavone, in his letter about the acquisition:

As a global investment firm, Platinum Equity is well-positioned to help us continue to execute our dynamic publishing vision through their market reach, merger and acquisition experience, and operational support. Just as importantly, the firm shares Quark’s commitment to our customers. This is the natural next step in Quark’s evolution.

On behalf of the entire Quark team, I want to thank you once again for the relationship we have built and for your continued confidence in our capabilities. We look forward to earning that trust each and every day.