Cullen, Daly buy back their Tape
Company from bankrupt Daisytek

The Tape Company founders Bob Daly and Mike Cullen took their company private from publicly traded Daisytek.

The Tape Company is again operating as a private company in the hands of its original owners, after five years as a division of a publicly traded company.

Original founder/owners Mike Cullen and Bob Daley repurchased their company Sept. 10 from a Texas bankruptcy court after parent company, Daisytek, International of Allen, Texas, declared Chapter 11 in May.

“We are very happy we have the company back,” said Cullen. “All along we felt we’d get it back.”

While Cullen did not disclose the terms, he said, “We got it back at a good price. It was a $50 million company when Daisytek bought it, but now it’s nowhere near the size it was at the time of the merger. Once we get our arms around it, though, we’ll be back at those levels.”

The Tape Company and two other subsidiaries were put up for sale after Daisytek encountered irreversible financial problems. “Daisytek was run by Andersen guys,” Cullen added.

Former Sony reps Cullen, Daly and Mark Rath (no longer with the company) started the company in 1987 and merged it with Daisytek in 1998. It’s the nation’s largest distributor of professional recording media.

Cullen said he’d never forget the day Daisytek executives visited them and offered to buy the business. “They were a well respected company at the height of a $2 billion business and we felt it was a good fit, since the merger would offer our employees a good opportunity and our customers a broader range of products.”

But the merger didn’t pan out the way they expected. Although the partners did everything they could, said Cullen, “Daisytek was determined to run the company the way they felt it should be run. They were more interested in quarterly numbers, and slashed and burned to meet them.”

For the last two years, Cullen and Daley, who had left Daisytek earlier, had attempted to negotiate a buyback. “Basically, Daisytek didn’t want to get serious until we told them we’re going to back into the business. Our non-competes ended in June. They went into bankruptcy shortly thereafter. We did our due diligence, put in our bid and were successful in buying our business back.”

Located in a 25,000-sq. ft. facility, TTC employs 64. It has sales and stocking warehouses in Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Seattle, and new facilities in Los Angeles and can provide same or next day service to 98% of the country.

The Tape Company is located at 325 W. Lake St., Elmhurst; phone, 800/851-3113; see