New CEO in place at Williams Lea Tag

Jo Francis
Thursday, December 7, 2017

Advent International has completed its purchase of Williams Lea Tag and has appointed a new chief executive who has already hinted at potential acquisitions.

As revealed by PrintWeek in October, David Kassler has been confirmed as the new group chief executive of the business. He took up his new role this month and will be based in the UK.

A spokesperson for Advent said: “We can confirm that the transaction has closed and that Advent International is looking forward to supporting the further development of Williams Lea Tag”

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Kassler is highly-experienced at working with private equity companies. His track record includes stints as chief executive at EMI Music, Phones 4U, and Deluxe Entertainment Services.

In a statement, he said he was delighted about the new opportunity. “I have admired the business for many years and I am incredibly honoured to have the chance to lead such an iconic brand through its next phase of growth.”

Kassler also said that investment was on the cards, and that Williams Lea Tag could be in a position to add to its offering with further buys. He described the plans for the marketing communications business under its new owners as “exciting”.

“We have exciting plans for the business that include further investments in our people and technology. With the support of Advent International, we also have the potential to acquire additional businesses to strengthen and expand our proposition for clients.”

He also thanked former owner and “valued partner” Deutsche Post DHL Group for its support.

Williams Lea Tag employs more than 10,000 people worldwide and has a presence in 40 countries. The company had sales of €1.4bn (£1.2bn) in 2014, which was the last year that Deutsche Post DHL Group separated out figures for the business.

Its clients include BP, Costa Coffee, Ikea, BT, Santander, and Net-a-Porter.

In the UK, the various Williams Lea group businesses, including TSO, filed sales of more than £500m in 2015, but the company has recently lost out on some key government tenders to rivals Communisis and APS Group. The group’s latest UK accounts are currently overdue, according to Companies House. 

Advent International has $35bn (£26bn) of assets under management in its portfolio and over the past 30 years has invested in more than 330 companies around the world. 

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