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News and Events

NEWS 2012

Polyconcept Announces Leadership Change

Roelofarendsveen, The Netherlands, May 2nd 2012
Netherlands-based global promotional industry leader, Polyconcept, announces
the appointment of Michael Bernstein as its new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
replacing Philippe Varnier, effective May 2, 2012.
Varnier joined Polyflame International, an importer of cigarette lighters, in 1978
and served as vice president until 1993 when he took over the CEO position from the
group founder’s son, Richard Peersmann. Under Varnier’s leadership, the group evolved
to become Europe’s leading supplier of gift and promotional products with a significant
presence in the Asia Pacific region and the USA. Renamed Polyconcept in 1995, the
company became independent from its listed Dutch mother company in 2000 through a
first LMBO. Polyconcept then became the world’s largest promotional products supplier in
2005 through the acquisition of Pittsburgh, PA-based Leed’s in 2005, right after the
completion of its secondary LMBO in partnership with leading corporate investment firm,
Investcorp, Polyconcept’s majority shareholder since then.

Michael Bernstein joined Leed’s in 1992 and led the transformation of the
company from a U.S. bags importer for the retail market to a leading gift and
promotional products supplier. Bernstein led a first LMBO in 2000 to allow his family to
partially exit the capital of the company. After five years of strong and profitable growth,
he joined Polyconcept in 2005 through its acquisition of Leed’s and became the group’s
vice chairman and CEO of Polyconcept North America. The group has since grown to a
global power house with anticipated sales in excess of € 700 million in 2012.....

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ADM acquires CSD and announces the formation of a new business division called ADM Beauty.

 

As the name suggest, this division will focus on the promotional product needs of high end cosmetic and luxury brands with a particular emphasis on the design and supply chain management for bags and cosmetic related products.

 

ADM Beauty is being formed as a result of the acquisition of CSD, a well known and highly respected specialist promotional products business operating exclusively in the cosmetics / luxury brands segment. CSD is based in Paris and is renowned for its long lasting successful cooperation with leading global brands in this field including L’Oreal and Pierre Fabre.

 

ADM Beauty will unite CSD’s proven management team, creative talents and overall operational processes with ADM’s global resources and multi-national client management skills to build a unique global promotions specialist in the selective distribution space. In this context, ADM will transfer its existing cosmetics based client business into this new specialist division. The CSD management team will remain in place while the founders, Philippe and Dominique Coune will remain available to the company in a consulting role.

 

“We are very excited about this development and enhancement of the ADM Group operations” states Ian Creasey, ADM Group CEO. “The acquisition of CSD enables us to create a high quality, beauty focussed, promotional products business which will add significantly to our overall capabilities and offer clients in the luxury brand sector a unique creative and efficient platform with global scale and reach.

 

The acquisition will be effective as of March 1st 2012.

 

ADM is part of The Polyconcept Group of companies; the world’s largest promotional products based business.

  

About Polyconcept:

Polyconcept is the world’s largest promotional products supplier with sales of over € 650 million. Polyconcept employs approximately 3,000 staff in 35 offices on four continents selling to over 100 countries around the globe. With its main offices in the US, The Netherlands, France, Hong Kong and China, the company supplies a wide range of promotional, lifestyle and gift products to several hundred thousand companies ranging from small enterprises to global corporations, either through a network of distributors or directly in the case of large, bespoke orders. Further information is available at www.polyconcept.com.

 

About CSD:

CSD was founded in 1995 and quickly became a well recognized value added supplier of promotional bags and accessories to global leading luxury brands or retailers in the field of perfumes, cosmetics and fashion. Besides its sales and marketing team, CSD operates its own Paris based integrated design studio and China based purchasing, product development, prototyping, compliance and quality control operations. Further information is available at www.cheuksing.com

 

London, March 1st 2012

NEWS 2011

Polyconcept Announces Corporate Management Changes
(Roelofarendsveen, The Netherlands, November 25, 2011). Global Promotional Products Industry leader Polyconcept announces several corporate management changes.

 

Yann Leca, presently CEO of Polyconcept Supplier Group is appointed, effective immediately, as group COO and CFO. Daniel Bednar, presently Group CFO, will follow a different career path.
Michael Bernstein, Polyconcept’s Vice-Chairman who recently took over the position of interim CEO of the Dutch-based PF Concept division, will also serve as CEO of the Supplier Group, which includes the North American and Asianbased Promotional Products Supplier operations.
Koos Blijdorp, Polyconcept Far-East’s CEO based in Hong-Kong since 1997 and a group associate since 1986, has decided to move with his family to South Africa at the end of this year to pursue other opportunities. He will not be replaced.
Nicolas Villemonteix who joined Polyconcept’s Shanghai operations in May 2011 as Head of Global Buying Services will be promoted as a member of the Group’s Executive Committee effective December 1st, 2011.

 

Philippe Varnier, Chairman of the Board of Polyconcept said: “Polyconcept’s management team is now more compact and experienced than ever, which is exactly what we need to continue delivering growth and performance in today’s economic environment. I would like to wholeheartedly thank Daniel and Koos for their contribution to the Polyconcept success story and wish them a lot of success in their next endeavors”. I am also pleased to welcome Nicolas as a new member of the Group’s Executive Committee. Yann Leca added, “I’ve been part of Polyconcept for fifteen years now, of which twelve as a CFO. Our group has very strong financial fundamentals served by highly dedicated teams and I look forward to working with them, my Board colleagues and our company’s financial partners as we move into 2012 and beyond.”

 

About Polyconcept:
Polyconcept is the world’s largest promotional products supplier with sales of over € 650 million. Polyconcept employs approximately 3,000 staff in 35 offices on four continents selling to over 100 countries around the globe. With its main offices in the US, The Netherlands, France, Hong Kong and China, the company supplies a wide range of promotional, lifestyle and gift products to several hundred thousand companies ranging from small enterprises to global corporations, either through a network of distributors or directly in the case of large, bespoke orders. Further information is available at www.polyconcept.com

Corporate Announcement


It is with great sadness that we learnt today the sudden passing away of our long time colleague and very good friend Rick Umans.
Rick joined Polyconcept in September 1992 to create its US retail division which has been very successful under his leadership. He then became in 2005 Managing Director of our specialist Division for P.O.S. material called ADM Interactive where he built another success story for our group.
All those who met Rick during those years have been impressed by his kindness, enthusiasm, sense of humor and loyalty. His passion for his work and the people around him made him a unanimously appreciated person.
We wish to express our sincere condolences to Rick’s family and we know how close he was to them as a husband, a father and recently a grand-father.
Polyconcept looses today a very valuable manager but more importantly a unique person and a friend who will be badly missed by all of us.


Philippe Varnier
November 18, 2011

PF Concept Announces Management Changes


(Roelofarendsveen, The Netherlands, November 8, 2011). Industry leader PF
Concept International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Polyconcept, announces the
resignation of Managing Director Cees Martens effective immediately. Michael
Bernstein, Vice-Chairman of Polyconcept and founder of Polyconcept North America
division Leedsworld, Inc, will assume the role of Interim Chief Executive Officer of PF
Concept effective immediately.
Philippe Varnier, Chairman of the Board of Polyconcept, expressed strong
support for these changes. “While we are sorry to see Cees leave, we feel that Michael
is the best choice we could hope for in terms of leading the PF organization forward
until a new CEO is found. Michael’s experience and skills combined with the leading
position of PF within the European market is a winning combination that will ensure PF’s
continued success”.
Mr. Bernstein added, “I’ve been part of the Polyconcept organization for six
years now and have gained a healthy knowledge and respect for what PF offers in
terms of market position, history and strengths. My job is to harness these strengths
so that we can continue to build on our legacy as a leader. I look forward to working
with the staff and customers of PF as we move forward into 2012 and to contributing to
the success of the company during this interim period.”


About PF Concept
PF Concept is the leading European promotional products supplier with sales of over
€200 million. PF Concept employs approximately 1,000 staff in 17 offices selling to
over 60 countries around the globe. With its headquarters near Amsterdam, The
Netherlands, the company supplies a wide range of promotional, lifestyle and gift
products to almost 10,000 distributors, and processes over 500,000 orders annually.
Further information is available at www.pfconcept.com.


About Polyconcept:
Polyconcept is the world’s largest promotional products supplier with sales of over
€ 650 million. Polyconcept employs approximately 3,000 staff in 35 offices on four
continents selling to over 100 countries around the globe. With its main offices in the
US, The Netherlands, France, Hong Kong and China, the company supplies a wide
range of promotional, lifestyle and gift products to several hundred thousand
companies ranging from small enterprises to global corporations, either through a
network of distributors or directly in the case of large, bespoke orders. Further
information is available at www.polyconcept.com.

 

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POLYCONCEPT SELLS PF JERSEY TO UNIBRANDS


GOTEBORG, SWEDEN — April 26, 2011 —

Polyconcept, the world’s leading promotional products supplier, has completed the divestment of its Swedish textiles subsidiary, PF Jersey AB. PF Jersey is a Sweden and Latvia based manufacturer of high quality private-label knitted garments. The company had revenues of approximately SEK 29 million in 2010 and currently employs 120 people. The divestment will not have a significant impact on the Polyconcept Group’s operating profit in 2011.

'The divestment of PF Jersey is a step for Polyconcept towards rationalizing our business portfolio, and we are very happy to have found a good home for this activity. I would like to thank the PF Jersey team for their contribution to Polyconcept, and we wish both PF Jersey and Unibrands great success in the future' says Philippe Varnier, CEO of Polyconcept Group.

POLYCONCEPT NORTH AMERICA ACQUIRES TRIMARK SPORTSWEAR GROUP
Leading Canadian apparel supplier joins forces with top performing Leed’s, Bullet and JournalBooks Pittsburgh

 

 – April 15, 2011 – Polyconcept North America, a division of the world’s leading promotional products supplier Polyconcept, announced today that it has acquired Trimark Sportswear Group, a leading Canadian apparel supplier. In the transaction, Polyconcept North America has purchased a controlling interest in Trimark from Weston Presidio, a private equity investor focused on growth. This deal marks Polyconcept North America’s fourth acquisition since its start in 2005 and its first move into the promotional apparel category. With the addition of Trimark, Polyconcept North America now becomes Canada’s largest supplier spanning both apparel and hard goods under four industry leading brands....Download the press release.

POLYCONCEPT NORTH AMERICA BRANDS RECOGNIZED AS TOP SUPPLIERS AT PPAI AWARDS CEREMONY

Leed’s Accepted Supplier Star Award; Bullet Received Award of Merit

 

PITTSBURGH — January 24, 2011 — Polyconcept North America (PCNA), the second largest hard goods supplier within the promotional products industry, announces that Leed’s and Bullet were honored as top suppliers by the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) at its 2011 Las Vegas Expo.  Each year, PPAI distributor members determine the award winners by voting for the suppliers that best provide quality, customer service, and effective communication.  For the second consecutive year, Leed’s accepted PPAI’s top honor as the recipient of the Supplier Star Award for its company size.  Bullet was recognized as a finalist among suppliers for the same award for the first time in its history.

 

“We are thrilled to receive these awards for Leed’s and Bullet, and thank PPAI for their recognition,” explains David Nicholson, president of PCNA.  “It is especially meaningful to receive an award that is voted on by our distributors.  This is the best reflection of the commitment and dedication of our 1,500+ Polyconcept North America employees.”

 

PPAI is the largest international trade association for the promotional products industry, and its awards are considered to be the industry’s highest honors.

About Polyconcept North America

Polyconcept North America, a wholly owned subsidiary of the world’s leading promotional products supplier Polyconcept, operates Leed's, Bullet Line and Journalbooks, three of the most successful brands in the USA.  The Polyconcept North America companies provide recognized best-in-class services to the industry, ensuring the highest standards of reliability and quality.  Highly complementary product ranges enable Polyconcept North America companies to provide the market with a very comprehensive assortment of non-wearable products.  Further information is available at www.polyconceptna.com.

About Leed’s
Leed’s is a leading promotional products supplier and founding member of the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), which promotes quality, safety, and integrity among suppliers in the industry. Known for the contemporary, retail look of its comprehensive line of corporate accessories, Leed’s products include bags, pens, padfolios, drinkware, memory, technology, awards, and more. Relentless product innovation, energetic customer service, and dynamic client collaboration have garnered Leed’s numerous honors from distributors and industry trade associations across the United States and Canada, including the PPAI Star of Excellence and the ASI Distributor of the Year awards. With global operations headquartered in New Kensington, PA, Leed’s has been synonymous with excellence in the promotional products industry for over 20 years. Information about Leed’s is available at www.leedsworld.com.

About Bullet
Bullet, a subsidiary of Polyconcept North America, is located in Miami, Florida and leads the promotional products industry with low prices, deep inventory, and 24-hour order turnaround. For over 30 years, Bullet has built its reputation on consistently providing superior service, reliability, and quality to promotional products distributors. In 2010, Bullet further demonstrated its commitment to those values by attaining membership in the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), which is promotes quality, safety, and integrity among suppliers in the promotional products industry. Bullet provides the largest selection of products in categories that include writing instruments, drinkware, tote bags, keytags, stationery, lighting, fitness & recreation, and travel accessories. To learn more about Bullet, visit www.bulletline.com.

CONTACT:

Melissa Lehman

Marketing Communications Specialist

Polyconcept North America

400 Hunt Valley Road

New Kensington, PA  15068

PH:  866-533-3724, ext. 3123

FX:  888-571-8272

mlehman@polyconceptna.com

News 2010

Amsterdam, August 2010.

 

PF CONCEPT has been elected 'EUROPEAN SUPPLIER of 2010' on the ProPSI fair in Amsterdam.
PF Concept was Gold winner based on a survey held among European distributors that are members of PSI.

Roelofarendsveen, March 24, 2010

Cees Martens appointed as PF Concept International C.E.O

 

We are pleased to announce that Cees Martens has been appointed as PF Concept International’s CEO and member of Polyconcept’s Executive Committee effective Monday, March 8th. Cees is Dutch, comes from Newell Rubbermaid and brings along 23 years of experience in international sales, marketing, products development and distribution. He will be based in Roelofarendsveen, The Netherlands and takes over from Rutger de Planque, who has elected to pursue other opportunities after 20 years with PF Concept. Cees will continue to grow PF Concept’s position as the European promotional products industry’s leading supplier, serving more than 10,000 distributors across 50 countries.

He will report to Yann Leca, Polyconcept’s former Chief Financial Officer, who has just been appointed as Supplier Group CEO, in charge of all the group’s catalogue-based promotional products activities towards distributors. The Supplier Group includes PF Concept, Polyconcept North America (with brands such as Leeds, Bullet and Journal Books) and their related Asian-based sourcing activities. It delivers close to 1 million orders annually to 25,000 distributors worldwide.

We would like to express our gratitude to Rutger for his valuable contribution to our group’s development and wish Cees and Yann success in their respective new positions.

 

 

Philippe Varnier

Polyconcept

Chairman and CEO

Roelofarendsveen, March 24, 2010
 
Daniel Bednar appointed Group C.F.O
 
We are pleased to announce that Daniel BEDNAR has joined Polyconcept as the Group’s Chief Financial Officer. Daniel is Canadian and comes to us from Bureau Veritas, the world’s second largest inspection and testing services company, where he was Deputy CFO. He brings along 23 years of international experience in finance and accounting, and has extensive experience in strategic planning, corporate reorganizations, acquisitions and investor relations. Daniel takes over from Yann LECA, who has  been promoted as CEO of the Supplier Group, Polyconcept’s catalogue-based promotional products activities – which include PF Concept International, Polyconcept North America (Leed’s, Bullet and Journal Books) and their related sourcing and product development activities. Both gentlemen will be based in Paris and will report to the undersigned. We would like to welcome Daniel as a new member of Polyconcept’s Executive Committee and Board of management, and wish him and Yann great success in their new positions.
 
March 24, 2010

Philippe Varnier

Polyconcept

Chairman and CEO

 

Pittsburgh - February 9, 2010
LEED’S WINS PPPC SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR GOLD AWARD
FOR FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR




Leed’s, a member of Polyconcept North America, the second largest supplier of hard goods within the promotional products industry, took home the top supplier award at the Promotional Products Professionals of Canada (PPPC) at the PPPC Image Awards ceremony held in Toronto on January 24th. This marks the fifth year in a row that Leed’s was honored with the Supplier of the Year Gold Award. Leed’s also won the Gold Award for Best Catalogue for the fifth consecutive year, as well as the Best Website for the fourth consecutive year. In addition, sales manager Deborah Porteous, who represents Polyconcept North America companies Leed’s, Bullet, and JournalBooks, received the Bronze Award for Supplier Sales Representative of the Year. Finally, multi-line agencies Westpointe Marketing Group and Agence Imapro Inc., which also represent Leed’s, Bullet, and JournalBooks, won the awards for Multi-Line Agency of the Year for the Western and Eastern Regions, respectively. This is the second year in a row that both agencies won these awards.


“The Supplier of the Year award represents the results of collaboration amongst more than 700 employees from over a dozen departments,” asserts Craig Morantz, vice president of sales for Polyconcept North America. “The fact that our Canadian distributors have recognized five years in a row means we are doing a lot of things right, and this only happens when employees and departments collaborate.”

Founded in 1956, the Promotional Product Professionals of Canada offers an assortment of benefits to the over 7,000 companies in the promotional products business in Canada, including its annual National Convention, six Traveling Optimum, Promotional Shows (TOPS), educational programs, and print and electronic publications. The PPPC Image Awards are considered to be the highest honors for the industry in Canada.


CONTACT:
Melissa Lehman

Marketing Communications Specialist
Polyconcept North America
400 Hunt Valley Road
New Kensington, PA 15068
PH: 866-533-3724, ext. 3123
FX: 888-571-8272
mlehman@polyconceptna.com

Paris, January 13, 2010

Yann LECA, CFO of Polyconcept, to lead Polyconcept’s Global Supplier Group

Effective January 1, 2010, Yann Leca, Polyconcept’s Chief Financial Officer since 1997, became the head of the company's Global Supplier Group, which comprises PF Concept International (Europe), Polyconcept North America (Leed's, Bullet Line and Journal Books) and all related sourcing and product development activities based in Asia. The Supplier Group includes all Polyconcept’s catalogue-based promotional products activities and is a global leader in its markets, with more than 10,000 different products and a million orders delivered from stock to 20,000 distributors worldwide. Yann will remain based in Paris and will transition into his new position over the first quarter of 2010 as his replacement as CFO of Polyconcept is expected to take office in April 2010.

Las Vegas - January 13, 2010

At the PPAI Awards Presentation, Leed's was honored with the prestigious Supplier Star Award, beating both Bic and SanMar. This is the second time that Leed's has earned this distinction. In addition, the Leed's website earned the top award for Information and Content.

Orlando - January 3, 2010
Leed’s received 9 “2010 Counselor Distributor Choice Awards

The 2010 Counselor Distributor Choice Awards were handed out at an industry gathering on Sunday, 1/3/10 in Orlando. The Counselor Distributor Choice Awards program was established in 2001 to name and celebrate the most-valued ASI suppliers in the advertising specialty industry, as determined by ASI distributors. The Awards were determined based on Supplier performance of 4 stars or higher and rated by at least 40 distributor votes. PCNA dominated the results with Leed's winning a record 9 and Journal Books winning 1 of the possible 50 category awards (including many categories in which PCNA does not have products). Following are the Categories in which PCNA received awards:


 

Leeds

Business Accessories
Computer Accessories
Electronic Products
Environmentally Friendly & Recycled Products
Housewares & Tools
Key Tags & Luggage Tags
Luggage & Bags
Office & Desk Accessories
USB Drives

Journalbooks

Journals & Diaries

Also, Bullet Line was a Runner-Up to Leed’s in the Electronic Products and the Housewares & Tools Categories as well as to another supplier in the Drinkware and the Flashlights Categories.



News 2009

October 9, 2009,
Leeds achieves QCA accreditation for quality



Leed’s, a member of Polyconcept North America, the second largest supplier within the promotional products industry, announces its achievement of accreditation through the Quality Certification Alliance based on successful completion of a third-party audit of their compliance programs and practices. .


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October 7, 2009,
Rutger de Planque,
CEO of PF Concept International, to leave Polyconcept



Rutger de Planque has elected to step down as CEO of PF Concept International by the end of next January and will remain an active shareholder of the group. The Polyconcept board of management would like to warmly thank Rutger for his extremely valuable contribution to the group over the past 20 years. A new CEO for PF Concept International will soon be appointed and will lead this division from The Netherlands..


August 14, 2009,
Polyconcept North America announces unified market strategy



Polyconcept North America, the second largest supplier within the promotional products industry, announces the introduction of a unified market strategy designed to strengthen and promote the leadership position of its three core businesses – Leed’s, Bullet Line and JournalBooks. The newly developed strategy will enhance the positioning and brand focus for each of the companies: Leed’s will build upon its reputation as the industry’s premier supplier with innovative products and services; Bullet Line will strengthen its position as the clear leader within the “value” segment of the market; and JournalBooks will enhance its offering of fast turnaround, highly customized solutions.


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Pittsburgh - February 6, 2009
Leed's honored by Industry trade associations, distributors



Leed’s, a member of Polyconcept North America, the second largest supplier within the promotional products industry, was honored at the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) Orlando tradeshow as Counselor magazine’s Supplier of the Year. Leed's also accepted awards in January from the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), the Promotional Products Professionals of Canada (PPPC), as well as from distributor giants Jack Nadel International, Peernet, and Brandvia.


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Business Divisions
PFConcept Leed's Bullet Line Journalbooks Asia direct services ADM Polyflame PF 3D