On behalf of the Michael family, Tim and Ronny Michael, owners of Jemasco, have announced the sale of their company to a U.S. private equity firm.
Tim Michael is to stay on for at least one year as president and general manager, and Ronny Michael as operations manager throughout the transition period. Other family members will be staying on as well to assist in daily management operations. The company is to remain located in Paris and will continue to operate under the trademark name “Jemasco,” which stands for J.E. Michael and Sons Company. There are to be no changes in operations, and all current employees will retain their positions.
“We’ve agreed to operate Jemasco just as we have for the past 36 years, so we will continue to be the same community-oriented business we have always been,” Michael said. “We will remain generous with mulch donations and will continue our financial support of community organizations.
“Jemasco was not on the market to be sold, but after numerous contacts and deliberations, negotiations began in July,” Michael continued. “We talked with the family, and looked at the reasons we might want to keep the company and the reasons we might want to sell.”
“Mom gave us a pretty good reason to sell,” Michael said of Virginia Michael. “She reminded me we’ve had 36 blessed years, and still a lot of life with grandkids to enjoy.”
The family matriarch is considered the company’s prayer warrior, and was recognized as such when Jemasco celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2019.
Michael said then that he always thinks back to what his mother said of the business at its beginning when the boys and their dad sometimes worked seven days a week.
“It was on a Sunday when she told us, ‘I hope this business does well for y’all,’” he recalled her saying. “But as of this day, I pray it never gets off the ground if you have to work Sundays to make it happen.”
Michael said she has kept her end of the bargain with her many prayers. From these prayers, not only has Jemasco grown and been blessed with the tens of thousands of loads shipped over the years, never has Jemasco had a major incident or accident causing death nor injury to anyone.
In negotiations of the sale, Jemasco and the private equity firm agreed there would be no Sunday activity in packing or shipping material of any kind.
Jemasco has served Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas with quality bark and soil products over the last 36 years. The business was started in 1984 when “Buddy” Michael and wife, Virginia, decided to expand the family business.
The business was formed with the parents, along with Tim and Ronny, and younger brother Lonny, who later joined the company. The business began as a bulk operation supplying pine bark mulch to the growing industry within a 100-mile radius. Their first load was delivered in Paris in October 1984 to Pine Mill Nursery, owned by Doug Burrows. The firm has continued to grow since, having its best year on record in 2020, shipping approximately 7,000 semi-loads of bag and bulk material.
In 2011, Tim and Ronny Michael became sole owners in the company after purchasing the other family member’s stock. The family still owns and operates Michael & Sons Ranch, LLC, founded in 1993 in the Novice area. Although J.E. “Buddy” Michael has been retired for some years and is in failing health, the brothers said they know how much their dad’s help and support throughout their lives still means to them and their successes.
“Not only was he our partner, he was our best friend,” Michael said.
The Michaels would like to thank everyone in the community for their many years of support, and look forward to the upcoming years and all that God has to offer, Tim Michael said.