News Release

Safeguard Business Systems Completes Divestiture of Excel Graphic Services to Founder and Former Owner
Transaction creates another new Safeguard franchise location within the Southeastern US

DALLAS, TX – Safeguard Business Systems, the provider of products, services and expertise designed to help businesses across North America grow, is pleased to announce the company’s recent sale of Blue Ridge, Georgia-based Excel Graphic Services to founder and former owner Bob Johnson. This transaction will further enhance Excel Graphic Services’ market positioning as a leader in business services solutions throughout the Southeastern US and beyond. As a result of the transaction, Bob Johnson and the Excel business become the latest Safeguard franchise location to operate within the Southeastern US.

In 2016, Safeguard’s parent company purchased the business and Johnson remained onboard as the general manager while it operated within the organization’s company-owned division. In 2018, the decision was made to move the business into the Safeguard franchise channel and back to local ownership and Johnson was the logical choice.

Johnson started his career in the print and promotional industry when he was 24, working for a Rome, GA based paper distributor. While there, he was tasked with growing the business, handling order fulfillment, and hiring and training new employees. Johnson’s exposure to multiple areas of the business sparked an interest in starting his own company, and in 1988, Johnson founded Excel Graphic Services and located the business to Blue Ridge, Georgia.

“At 28-years-old, I was running the salesforce for the company. My responsibility was to make sure that the business was profitable,” said Johnson. “Eventually, I decided that instead of spending my time making money for someone else, it was time for me to go out on my own.”

Having always lived in Georgia, Johnson was able to build meaningful relationships with customers, a trait that helped him grow the customer base to include clients that crossed various industries including food service, healthcare, manufacturing, education and finance, among others. He was also able to build strong relationships with employees, with three team members recently celebrating more than 20 years of service with the company and another three spending more than 15 years with the Excel enterprise.

“When you form a good team, you have basically formed a family, and that has been my greatest accomplishment at Excel Graphic Services,” said Johnson. “The employees were a big factor in my decision to reacquire the business. This team is my family, and I knew I wanted to stay with them.”

The acquisition was completed through Safeguard’s Business Acquisitions & Mergers (BAM) Team. With more than 100 years of collective experience in franchising, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, the BAM Team has completed more than 175 strategic transactions since 2008. For its work in helping drive company and distributor growth through the completion of strategic transactions, the BAM team has been lauded across multiple industry segments. In 2018 alone, the BAM Team was recognized as the Strategic Firm Corporation of the Year by the M&A Advisors and also took home its second Dealmaker of the Year Award by Franchise Times® magazine, the first coming in 2014. In 2017, the BAM Team was honored with a Stevie® Award for “Best Support Team“ of the year.

“We recognized that what has helped make Excel Graphic Services so successful throughout three decades in business is their incredible and dedicated team led by a phenomenal leader in Bob Johnson, said R. Scott Sutton, Vice President for Safeguard and the leader of the BAM Team. “They’ve all built deep and lasting relationships with the customers they serve and go above and beyond to make sure clients have the attention they need to grow.”

For more than 60 years, Safeguard, through its network of distributors, has been providing the products, services and expertise needed by business owners to help their businesses grow. Through innovation, dedication and a commitment to quality and integrity, Safeguard has transformed itself from a small check printing business to a fully diversified business solutions enterprise. To learn more about Safeguard, please visit, or follow us on Twitter at

Since 2008, Safeguard’s award-winning Business Acquisitions and Mergers (BAM) Team has emerged as the most decorated strategic growth team in the industry. With more than 100 years of collective experience in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, business strategy and financial performance assessment, the BAM Team possesses the “know how” needed by Safeguard, its affiliates, distributors and franchisees to complete complex transactions across multiple business channels. The BAM team has completed more than 150 total transactions since its inception, earning accolades at the highest levels. In 2018, Safeguard won Strategic Corporation Firm of the Year award from M&A Advisors as well as a second coveted Dealmaker of the Year award, presented by Franchise Times® Magazine, after first winning the award in 2014. In 2017, the BAM team won an M&A Advisors Deal of the Year award in the Professional Services (B-to-B) category as well as a bronze Stevie® American Business Award as Support Team of the Year. To learn more about the BAM Team, please visit , or follow us on Twitter at