Franklin Quest Co. and Covey Leadership Center said Wednesday the two companies will merge in a deal valued at $160 million.
The new entity is to be called Franklin Covey Co.Salt Lake-based Franklin Quest is a time-management training company best known for its Franklin Day Planner.
Provo-based Covey Leadership is a consulting firm specializing in corporate training. It is best known for the book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey, chairman of Covey Leadership Center.
Under terms of the deal, Franklin Quest will exchange its stock for all of the shares of Covey Leadership. Franklin's shares are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Covey is privately held.
Jon H. Rowberry, chief operating officer for Franklin Quest, said the merger has been approved by directors of both companies but still needs approval of shareholders of both companies along with the usual regulatory approvals.
Is it a good deal for shareholders? "I think it is, but we haven't heard from them yet," said Rowberry. He said the deal is expected to close by the end of May.
Corporate logos and signs for both companies will change following the merger, but what about Franklin Quest Field baseball stadium? Rowberry said Salt Lake City named the field and the city will have to decide about changing it. "It's something we haven't talked about yet," he said.
Also, the Franklin Quest Championship Senior PGA Tour golf tournament in Park City will undergo a name change but probably not in time for this year's tournament.
Under terms of the agreement, Franklin Quest chairman Hyrum Smith and Stephen R. Covey will become co-chairmen of the board of the new company. Stephen M.R. Covey, the son of Stephen R. and chief executive officer of Covey Leadership, will remain president of Covey Leadership and become executive vice president of the combined company.
No other changes are expected at the executive level, said Rowberry.
Covey Leadership is scheduled to move next month into new corporate offices in Orem. The administrative headquarters of the new company will be based in Franklin Quest's current facilities in Salt Lake City.
Covey's two retail stores will be absorbed in the Franklin group of stores, Rowberry said.
Rowberry said the merger had been discussed for several months before getting the final go-ahead this week from directors of the two firms.
He said no layoffs are anticipated. Franklin currently has 3,000 employees and Covey 700. "We will combine certain operations . . . but we believe growth will absorb" any jobs that are combined.
Annual revenues of the new Franklin Covey Co. are projected at $445 million, the amount the two companies reported last year.
Franklin has some 100 retail stores and a client base that is said to include more than half of the Fortune 500 companies. It also has thousands of midsize and small company clients, government entities, educational institutions, communities, and some 4 million users of the Franklin Day Planner.
"Together these two companies represent a unique combination of ideas and market reach that will create a training and educational powerhouse," said Franklin Quest Chairman Hyrum Smith in a prepared statement.
"We look forward to exploring and taking advantage of the many areas of synergy that exist so naturally between our companies."
Stephen Covey said the merger will help both companies better compete in the world market for productivity and leadership products and programs.
"Our organizations share a common philosophy and approach based on our mutual belief in the power of principles to improve individual and organizational effectiveness," said Covey.
Covey Leadership operates in 21 countries with leadership training products and materials printed in 28 languages. It has more than 12 million books in print and sells some 1.5 million books per year. It has more than 7,000 licensed client "facilitators" who teach the tenets of "Seven Habits" to more than a quarter-million people annually.
Franklin and Covey combined train some 425,000 participants per year in time management and productivity skills.