STW acquires retail marketing solutions company Active Display Group

Marketing content and communications group SWT has acquired retail marketing solutions company Active Display Group.

The announcement:

STW, Australasia’s leading marketing content and communications services group, has bolstered its shopper marketing and path to purchase capability with the acquisition of retail marketing solutions company Active Display Group.

Active Display Group is Australia’s largest Point of Sale Display and Signage organisation, with design and manufacturing facilities unmatched in Australia.  More than 390 staff work across Active Display Group offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Hong Kong.  Founded in 1985, Active Display Group has experienced strong growth year on year, constantly expanding its service offering in response to market demand and opportunity.  It is now the largest organisation of its type in the region, and is widely viewed as being at the top of the Australian Point-of-Purchase display industry.

Active Display Group provides a range of specialist marketing collateral services including full service retail marketing material solutions, research and development, production and sourcing, storage, logistics, kitting, fulfilment and installation, shopper-focussed display design, large format printing, in-store brand and category management, temporary and permanent promotional displays (including counter, window, digital and interactive), in-store promotions and activations, store fit outs, signage and visual merchandise.  Through its subsidiary AFI Branding, the group also provides corporate and event branding and exhibition services.

STW’s CEO Michael Connaghan said the investment was a ‘perfect fit’ with STW’s strategy of broadening capabilities to meet changing client needs, and enhancing STW’s ability to service clients’ entire budgets.

“I explained at the AGM how more and more of client budgets are being spent in what’s called the ‘Place’ sector of the customer journey. The more marketing becomes data driven and digital, the more critical than ever is the consumer experience in store and at point of purchase. STW already has extensive, leading capability in key areas of shopper, point-of-purchase, experiential, activation, shopper insights and logistics management, and the addition of Active Display Group enhances our offering perfectly. It will enable us to have a much broader relationship with clients, who increasingly are looking for a more holistic solution.

“Active Display Group is a leader in the field of providing marketing material solutions to the Australasian market, with some of the country’s most outstanding clients on its roster.  It also has a strong, experienced and motivated senior leadership team ready to move the business into its next phase of expansion.

“Active Display Group is a very impressive business. They have built a business of scale, superior creativity and are at the forefront of helping their clients manage crucial investment in building entertainment and value-add into the retail experience.”

“We anticipate it will provide significant benefits to our clients operating within the ‘Path to Purchase’ and retail fields, given its ability to provide an end-to-end service to meet all marketing collateral needs.  It fits well within the STW Group and has already executed a number of successful projects with other STW agencies.  We’re excited to have them join the STW family. We’re excited and confident about our ability to make this sector of our business a key growth platform for the future,” Mr Connaghan said.

Active Display Group’s CEO David Gittus said the move to join STW Group would enable the business to move into its next phase of growth, while accessing a broad range of services to benefit existing clients.

“To ensure we maximise our growth potential both locally and in Asia, it was important we found the right partner to move with us through our next phase of expansion.  Our two organisations are closely aligned, with a focus on digital, a firm eye on growth in the broader region while having a strong presence right here in Australia.

“Working with the STW Group we’ll be able to access a broader range of shopper and retail services while providing our end-to-end collateral solutions to a wider market.  On that basis alone, STW Group is an excellent fit for the business.  In addition, we believe we’ve found a long term home for sustainable growth given the focus of both groups on looking out for ‘what’s next’ in the world of marketing at retail.”

A separate investor presentation has been lodged with the Australian Securities Exchange.

Source: STW media release


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