Who Is The King Of The Toner Industry?

  • mse-big-banner-new-03-17-2016-416716a-tonernews-web-banner-mse-212
  • mse-big-new-banner-03-17-2016-416616a-tonernews-web-banner-mse-114
  • 05 02 2016 429716a-cig-clearchoice-banner-902x177
  • 4toner4
  • Video and Film
  • Print
  • big-banner-ad_2-sean
  • 2toner1-2
  • cartridgewebsite-com-big-banner-02-09-07-2016
  • 7035-overstock-banner-902x177

Who Is The King Of The Toner Industry?

 user admin 2014-11-25 at 11:10:35 am Views: 781
  • #41542

    Who Is The King Of The Toner Industry?
    How Clover hit it big by recycling used electronics

    By: Kevin McKeough

    Jim Cerkleski would like to buy your old iPhone. In fact, his company, Clover Holdings, launched a buyback program a few months ago aimed at businesses that want to upgrade their fleet of phones to Apple's iPhone 6.
     - Clover CEO Jim Cerkleski - Credit: Kendall Karmanian
    Clover CEO Jim Cerkleski

    Of-the-moment offers like this is how Cerkleski, Clover's CEO, has transformed a $1.7 million recycler of printer cartridges into a global remanufacturer and reseller of cartridges, mobile phones and cell-tower equipment that he projects will hit $1.1 billion in revenue this year.

    The environment has profited as well, he says. Cerkleski estimates that his Hoffman Estates-based company kept 70 million cartridges and at least 4 million phones out of landfills in 2013 alone. “I'm a sales and marketing guy, and it's a lot easier to tell a story when everybody wins,” he says.

    Cerkleski, 48, started out by founding an office supply company and photocopier dealership shortly after graduating from Northern Illinois University in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in marketing and English.

    It was his sideline as a professional bass fisherman, though, that led to the turning point in his business. One day when Cerkleski was in a showroom getting his boat for a tournament, the salesmen introduced him to another fisherman, who owned Clover. In 2000, Cerkleski bought out his fellow angler and proceeded to grow the company to $100 million in revenue in 2005 by selling refurbished cartridges worldwide under private labels through big-box stores.


    Also in 2005, Clover took over a company with cartridge remanufacturing plants in Mexico and Portugal. Clover has made numerous acquisitions since then, most notably in 2012, when it bought a mobile-phone recycling business that sells the phones back to carriers as replacement models. Last year, the company further broadened its reach with the purchase of a telecom-equipment recycler.

    Cerkleski has financed these acquisitions with the help of Golden Gate Capital, a San Francisco private-equity firm that bought 48 percent of Clover in 2010 for an undisclosed amount.

    “We thought the infrastructure they created was something you could leverage to grow in that market segment and in other market segments,” says Jake Mizrahi, a managing director at Golden Gate. Cerkleski and Mizrahi both note that Clover's business model can be applied to any kind of expensive electronics equipment, from airplane parts to medical equipment.

    Mizrahi also praises the creativity of Clover's recycling initiatives, such as a program that gives schools credits toward computer purchases in exchange for phones and cartridges that parents bring in for recycling.

    The father of two, Cerkleski spends his free time helping with his son's eighth-grade football team and watching his daughter's equestrian competitions. He remains an avid fisherman, casting his lines from Idaho to Key West, Fla. He's not particular about what he catches, however. “I literally will fish for anything,” he says. “That gives me peace of mind.”