Williams Lea

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Williams Lea Holdings Plc
Industry Printing, print design, and bulk mailing
Founded 1820
Headquarters London, England, UK
Key people
Dan Ellerton, CEO [1]
Revenue $772.10 million USD (Green Arrow Up.svg76.20% FY 2005)
Number of employees
Parent Deutsche Post
Website www.williamslea.com

Williams Lea is a global company that offers business process outsourcing (BPO) to large companies. Founded in 1820 as a company providing printing services to the financial industry, Williams Lea went through a number of changes to its business model and now provides services including mail processing, bulk mailing, printing, and page layout.

It was a private company until German postal and logistics company Deutsche Post, parent company of DHL, acquired a majority stake in 2006. As of Q1 2009, the company employed 11,500 people with an annual turnover of around £1 billion.


Williams Lea was founded in 1820 by John Wertheimer, who opened a printing business in London.[2]


Williams Lea has undergone rapid expansion in recent years due to the rise in corporate outsourcing of support functions. Growth has largely been organic, but it has made several acquisitions:

  • In October 2004, it acquired U.S.-based Bowne Business Solutions, a long-term joint venture partner, from Bowne & Co. for $190.8 million.[3]
  • In August 2005, it acquired U.S.-based Uniscribe for $36.1 million[4] and Australia-based Creatis for $7.7 million.[5]
  • In November 2006, it acquired UK-based The Stationery Office for £130 million.[6]
  • In 2007, Deutsche Post rebranded its German service lines document management, transactional print, mailroom services, and direct marketing/fulfillment as Williams Lea Deutschland. These service lines were re-integrated into Deutsche Post in 2010. Currently Williams Lea in Germany offers marketing solutions and presentation services.[7]
  • In November 2007, Deutsche Post acquired legal process outsourcing (LPO) company Centric LPO for an undisclosed sum.[8]