Property: Quark
Buyer: Platinum Equity
Seller: Quark
Date: August 2011
Price: Undisclosed

Digital publishing software company Quark was acquired by Platinum Equity in the summer of 2011 and the deal, more than anything else, was positioned as an opportunity to help Quark move more nimbly in the rapidly changing world of publishing technology. It also ended up more clearly defining Quark’s market position relative to its arch rival Adobe. The deal marked the end of the Ebrahimi family’s ownership of the company, an ownership structure that Quark president and CEO Raymond Schiavone described as constraining.

At the time of the deal, and since, Adobe has moved heavily into integrating Web analytics and other content creation tools, particularly for the app market. In contrast, Platinum planned to focus Quark on its core competencies as a desktop publishing platform for magazines and newspapers.
According to Platinum Equity, its operations team was working with Quark management “to focus on Quark’s core markets and create an acquisition strategy focused on expanding the breadth and depth of Quark’s product capabilities and geographic coverage.”

There were no plans to merge Quark with any other companies owned by Platinum.
Quark’s portfolio includes QuarkXPress, Quark Publishing System and Quark XML Author. The software aids in publication of content for Web, mobile, tablet and social media platforms.

The sale of Quark was the end of the software company’s family ownership and helped define its market position.