Bain & Company and EY advise Advent on Williams Lea Tag deal

12 September 2017 3 min. read
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Advent International has acquired Williams Lea Tag, a global professional services player specialising in marketing supply chain services. The US-based private equity firm was advised by Rothschild, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Bain & Company and EY.

Advent International, one of the largest and most experienced global private equity (PE) investors, announced that it has agreed to acquire Williams Lea Tag, a provider of marketing and communications services, from Deutsche Post DHL Group.

Founded in 1984, Advent has invested in over 325 PE transactions in 41 countries, while as of March 31 2017, it had $37 billion in assets under management – in a market worth a total of $2,500 billion. Financial terms of the transaction, which see the investors obtain control of Williams Lea Tag, were undisclosed. The investment in Williams Lea Tag is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

Advent - Williams Lea Tag deal

Since its foundation in 1820 as a financial printing business, Williams Lea Tag has expanded into a global provider of marketing and communications supply chain services. The organisation also specialises in delivering integrated marketing and communications solutions for some of the largest and most recognised brands across the world. The company provides a broad range of marketing solutions, such as creative production and sourcing services alongside business process outsourcing services, including document workflow process capabilities and the production of personalised customer communications. Headquartered in London, the company has a presence in 195 cities across 40 countries.

Advent – which has a strong track-record in carving out businesses from major corporations and assisting them with their transition to independence – and former owner of Williams Lea Tag, the Deutsche Post DHL Group, have agreed to work in partnership to execute the separation in a way that will ensure continuity and quality of service to all customers of Williams Lea Tag. Private equity has been regularly involved in such ventures into independence recently, as exemplified by consulting firm Capco. Earlier in the year, a fund managed by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) acquired a 60% interest in Capco, while previous owner FIS retained a 40% equity interest, enabling the firm to return to independence.

Rothschild, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Bain & Company and EY

Andy Dawson, a Managing Director at Advent International, said, “We see great further growth potential in Williams Lea Tag on a global scale. Advent will support the company through targeted investment in people, technology and systems and to strengthen its customer proposition and help its clients to realize the true potential of their brands. Advent’s expertise in executing complex carve-outs combined with our deep sector experience will ensure Williams Lea Tag’s transition to an independent company is smooth and will put it on a solid foundation from which it can grow and prosper.”

During the deal process, Advent International was advised by investment bank Rothschild, law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, and consulting industry players Bain & Company and EY.