In the artistic arms race of Dick Blick versus Utrecht, we’ve always been partial to the one whose jaunty red palette logo implied a connection to the likes of Theo van Doesburg, Gerrit Rietveld, and Miffy (whose creator, Dick Bruna, is among the Dutch city’s most famous sons), despite its founding in NYC by an artist in search of better canvas. But Mr. Blick is having the last laugh. Galesburg, Illinois-based Blick Art Materials has acquired Utrecht Art Supplies from private equity firm Topspin Partners LBO, which purchased the company in a secondary buyout in 2007.
The deal adds 45 stores to family-owned Blick’s existing network of 39. “The acquisition of Utrecht gives us a tremendous, well-established brand and greater geographic reach for our brick and mortar channel,” said Blick CEO Robert Buchsbaum in a statement issued Monday (and initially straining credulity among April Fool’s Day announcements such as Richard Branson‘s news of Virgin Atlantic’s new glass-bottomed plane). Financial terms were not disclosed, and no word on Blick’s plans for the Utrecht brand or its lines of paints, canvas, and other art products.