Williams Lea Tag (WLT) has acquired end-to-end shopper marketing activation partner Popcorn Global to add advanced POS design and prototyping capabilities to its offering in this area.

Kassler: “It was a very natural fit”

Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, and operating across Asia, North America and Europe, Popcorn Global’s customers include Nivea, Super Retail Group, Coles and GSK.

Its expertise includes the design and installation of temporary, semi-permanent and permanent displays for retail clients, while it also specialises in digital displays and content management.

The deal, which was completed just before Christmas, is WLT’s third to be made under Advent International’s ownership, following on from its acquisitions of computer-generated imagery specialist Taylor James and on-demand digital content and social media agency THP last year.

Williams Lea Tag group chief executive David Kassler, who was appointed in 2017, told PrintWeek: “We have some clients in common with Popcorn and we were working closely with them anyway, but as third parties as opposed to being direct partners.

“We quickly saw how capable and talented they were and what a great relationship they had with the clients that we also had, so it was a very natural fit and that’s where the conversation started.”

He added: “We have a big established marketing business – we’re probably the biggest temporary POS player in the world – but we haven’t previously had design and prototyping capabilities.

“So we will now be able to offer that extra capability to our existing customers, which was the main rationale from our side, while Popcorn will get access to Williams Lea Tag’s customers around the world.”

Popcorn Global’s branding and identity will be retained, and all of its current staff will remain with the company and continue to be based at its existing Melbourne premises.

Popcorn Global chief executive and founder Daniel Brodecky will continue to head up the business and will additionally be part of the leadership team of WLT’s chief executive of APAC Toby Codrington.

“We are really excited to be joining the Williams Lea Tag family, the synergy between us is strong and our vision is aligned,” said Brodecky.

“The sheer scale and global growth ambition of the business makes us confident that together we can deliver innovative end-to-end client solutions around the world. The sky really is the limit.”

Regarding other potential future acquisitions, Kassler said: “We’ve got a really strong pipeline of some 20 to 25 companies that we’re looking at actively around the world, so there will be more to come in 2019, I’m sure.”

WLT, which turns over more than $1.2bn (£934m), has production facilities in 40 countries and 10,000 employees worldwide.

Separately, The Stationery Office (TSO), part of WLT, has just renewed its contract as the DVSA’s official publisher. The new contract started last Monday (7 January) and lasts for up to five years.

TSO has published DVSA’s official learning materials, including The Official DVSA Theory Test for Car Drivers and The Official Highway Code, for more than 30 years.

This partnership has created a portfolio of apps, online subscriptions, books, eBooks, discs and downloads. TSO said it will continue to work with DVSA “to offer innovative publishing that delivers high quality, multimedia products for all road users at every stage of their driving or riding life”.

As part of the new contract, TSO will update existing products, including The Official DVSA Theory Test Kit app, and publish an updated Highway Code. A user-focused digital development strategy, meanwhile, will deliver new resources that relates driving theory to real driving situations.



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