Poulters bought by fast growing retail firm Bezier
LONDON - One of the UK's oldest regional agencies, Poulters Partners has been bought by retail marketing firm Bezier, which was named earlier this year as one of the Sunday Times' companies to watch.
Leeds-based Poulters, which has a £8m turnover, was founded in 1969 and works across advertising, direct marketing, PR, sales promotion and design disciplines for clients like Hewlett-Packard, Gala Casinos and Sheffield shopping centre Meadowhall.
In June, bookmaker William Hill appointed the agency to oversee a direct marketing campaign encouraging potential customers into its stores to place bets during the World Cup. However, earlier this year Poulter axed nine jobs after the loss of the £8m creative account for Redrow, one of the UK's biggest housebuilders.
Last February, pub and bar chain Spirit Group also appointed the agency to handle its World Cup-themed direct activity. The work included a mailing to 18m households enticing England fans to Spirit Group's bars to watch the tournament's games.
New owner Bezier is privately owned by investors Mid Ocean partners, and has an estimated value of £70m. Since 2002, Bezier's turnover has more than doubled from £31m to a forecasted £63m for this year with further growth expected next year and is was named in the Sunday Times Fast Track 10 to wach.
Gary McCall, managing director at Poulters, said: "Poulters' expertise in marketing strategy and brand communications, together with our excellent creative reputation will further enhance Bezier's services among their blue-chip brand and retail client base and the wider market place.
"The directors are all very excited about the role that Poulters can play under Bezier ownership and have committed themselves long term to making this a success. This is a new phase in Poulters' history that gives the company a fantastic platform for continued creative and strategic excellence to our clients."
Earlier this month, Bezier rebranded itself with an aim to take an above-the-line agency approach to in-store advertising and expand its creative and consultancy services.
The agency achieved a £61m turnover for 2005/2006, working for clients such as Asda, Boots, Imperial Tabacco, First Choice, Homebase, KFC and Superdrug.
Mark Shaw, Bezier's chief executive, said: "This acquisition will not only increase our own specialised in-store media creative services but also gives a new through-the-line dimension to our business.
"By combining our knowledge of in-store marketing with Poulter's well-reputed ability to create and drive marketing and brand strategy, we hope to also give in-store a more strategic role in the marketing mix of our clients."
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