Advent's Williams Lea deal is approved

By Jo Francis, Wednesday 11 October 2017

Be the first to comment

The European Commission has approved Advent International’s takeover of Williams Lea Tag, while a high-profile executive’s name has been linked with a future senior role at the group.

williams-lea-tag

Williams Lea Tag: sale has passed regulatory hurdle

Advent was confirmed as the purchaser of the Williams Lea Tag businesses in August, with the formalities expected to be completed during Q4.

The deal was subject to regulatory approval, and the European Commission has now given the buy the green light.

The Commission’s statement said: “The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Williams Lea Tag GmbH of Germany, Williams Lea Holdings, Inc. of the US and Williams Lea Holdings Limited of the UK, together forming the Williams Lea business, by Advent International of the US.

“The Williams Lea business is active in the provision of marketing communications services and business document process outsourcing. Advent International is a private equity investment firm with portfolio companies active in various business sectors. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because the overlaps between the activities of the Williams Lea business and Advent International's portfolio companies are limited.”

The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure.

Separately, experienced private equity executive David Kassler has been tipped to become the new leader of the business under Advent.

His track record includes stints as chief executive at EMI Music, Phones 4U, and Deluxe Entertainment Services.

In his personal profile he describes himself as: “Advising on strategic and operational change pre- and post-acquisition for three major international private equity firms – including a global leader in B2B digital content, a leading global marketing services business and a buy-and-build in the European hospitality sector.”

He is also an investor and director at content and advertising app business DeviceMesh.

Advent International has declined to comment on any details regarding the Williams Lea Tag business until the takeover is completed, and PrintWeek could not reach Kassler for comment at the time of writing.

A team from Advent is understood to be combing through Williams Lea’s books ahead of completion. Extracting the operation from Deutsche Post DHL Group, which has owned Williams Lea since 2006, is likely to be a complex proceeding. The two companies have already said that they will work in partnership to ensure a smooth separation.

The 2016 accounts for the various Williams Lea limited companies registered in the UK, including Williams Lea Holdings, should have been filed by 30 September but are currently flagged at Companies House as overdue.

Share this

Related headlines

Williams Lea Tag sale confirmed
24 August 2017

Advent International has confirmed that it is to become the new owner of Williams Lea Tag.

Potential Williams Lea buyer named
21 August 2017

The owner of Fort Dearborn and Oberthur Technologies has emerged as the likely buyer for Williams Lea....

Lay-offs at Williams Lea Tag
01 August 2017

Williams Lea Tag is laying off around 100 staff, as speculation mounts that news about the sell-off of...

Williams Lea Tag CEO departs
24 February 2017

An industry outsider has taken temporary charge of Williams Lea Tag after chief executive Dan Ellerton...

This Issue

Latest comments