Mass. company to buy West Kennebunk Hallmark subsidiary, move jobs out of Maine

Posted Nov. 05, 2012, at 1:31 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 05, 2012, at 2:30 p.m.

WEST KENNEBUNK, Maine — A Massachusetts-based stationery company is buying William Arthur, a Hallmark Cards subsidiary based in West Kennebunk, and will move the operation and jobs out of Maine.

Dalton, Mass.-based Crane & Co., which produces stationery and paper the U.S. Treasury uses to print currency, signed an agreement with Hallmark Cards to acquire William Arthur for an undisclosed sum, according to a media release from Hallmark.

For now, William Arthur and its 270 employees will continue to operate in West Kennebunk. However, Crane plans to consolidate the business with its facility in North Adams, Mass., in the second half of 2013, Wallis Post, a Crane spokesman, told the Bangor Daily News.

After consolidation, Crane expects to have up to 100 hourly manufacturing jobs available at its North Adams facility, Post said.

“Crane is committed to making those jobs available to William Arthur employees who choose to relocate,” Post said, adding that the company will have relocation resources available to help with the transition.

Crane will offer severance packages and outplacement services to William Arthur employees who do not wish to relocate, Post said.

William Arthur in 2005 signed a licensing partnership with Vera Wang to design and produce her exclusive line of wedding invitations and stationery.

“The acquisition of William Arthur reinforces Crane’s commitment to being a leader in the stationery market,” DeFalco said in a statement. “By uniting three of the industry’s premier brands — Crane, William Arthur and Vera Wang — we are investing in the category and will provide the market with a broad range of high-quality, outstanding designs.”

William Arthur was founded in 1949 as Ten Bamboo Studio in Wellesley, Mass., according to the company’s website. In 1984, Bill and June DeJonge acquired the company, and three years later changed its name to William Arthur and moved it to West Kennebunk. It became a wholly owned subsidiary of Hallmark in 1997.

Crane’s acquisition is scheduled to close on Nov. 30, 2012.

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