Go back


Global industry leaders in education, art, and craft products merge

APPLETON, WI (June 8, 2018) – Pacon Corporation, a portfolio company of private equity firm Mason Wells, announced today that it was acquired by F.I.L.A. (Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini S.p.A.), an Italian industrial enterprise.

Jim Schmitz, Pacon’s current President and CEO, will lead all North American F.I.L.A. business which includes twelve operations, seven which are located in the Fox Valley, Wisconsin area. Pacon Corporation employs approximately 500 people at its US, Canadian, and UK locations.

“The partnership of the Pacon team with Mason Wells over the past several years clearly raised the business to a new level,” said Schmitz. “Through the development and execution of a refined long-term marketing and growth strategy, in combination with five strategic acquisitions that included expansions into new markets and adjacent product categories, the Company is well positioned for continued success in the future. Mason Wells brought disciplined processes and resources that allowed the business to reinvest in new capital projects including the purchase and implementation of SAP.”

In addition, noted Schmitz, “We are excited about entering the next Pacon chapter with F.I.L.A. Their ownership signals a bright future for our organization.  It provides excellent growth opportunities for our employees, our customers, and the business.”

The Pacon acquisition expands the breadth of F.I.L.A.’s portfolio in the North American art and craft sector. F.I.L.A’s outstanding lineup of brands includes Dixon Ticonderoga, Prang, Canson, Daler-Rowney, Maimeri, DAS, and LYRA. As a result of the acquisition, F.I.L.A. will grow to have 29 production facilities on five continents with more than 9,000 employees.

“The combined Pacon and F.I.L.A. team is determined to deliver excellent customer service and exceptional product quality to ensure we satisfy our new and existing customers,” Schmitz said.


About F.I.L.A.

Founded in 1920, F.I.L.A. is a highly consolidated, dynamic, and innovative Italian industrial enterprise. F.I.L.A. is a global icon of Italian creativity through its coloring, drawing, modelling, writing, and painting tools. F.I.L.A. has grown over the last twenty years and has accomplished a series of strategic acquisitions, including Adica Pongo, Dixon Ticonderoga, LYRA, Lapiceria Mexicana, Lycin, Daler-Rowney Lukas, and Canson. F.I.L.A. is headquartered in Milan, Italy.


About Pacon Corporation

Pacon, based in Appleton, WI, provides a wide range of educational aids, paper products, and art and craft materials for the school, retail, and online channels. The company operates eight production facilities in the US, Canada and the UK and has a product range of 8,500 items.  Since 1951, teachers, students, parents, and artists have relied on Pacon products to help them teach, learn, and create. From children’s art and craft materials to fine art papers, Pacon is committed to offering innovative products to enable and inspire teachers, students, and artists to be their best.


About Mason Wells

Mason Wells is a leading Midwest-based private equity firm with approximately $1.0 billion in assets under management across its current private equity funds. Since Mason Wells was formed in 1998, its buyout funds have invested in four specific industry sectors: Consumer Packaged Goods, Outsourced Business Services, Engineered Products & Services, and Packaging Materials & Converting. Mason Wells is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Go back