First Edge Solutions' Bobby Kraft Buys World Marketing
MILWAUKEE—November 7, 2014—Wisconsin businessman Bobby Kraft, has acquired Omaha, NE-based World Marketing from Berkshire Hathaway.
Kraft is also president and CEO of First Edge Solutions, a Milwaukee-based multi-channel communication, print and document management provider that has production facilities in Phoenix and Atlanta and satellite offices in Chicago, San Diego, New York and St. Louis, according to BizTimes Milwaukee.
First Edge acquired Milwaukee-based on-demand marketing, document output services and photo book publishing company Proven Direct in May and moved its headquarters to 1301 W. Canal St. in Milwaukee. World Marketing will also be headquarted at that office, but will remain a separate entity, reported BizTimes Milwaukee.
The transition will move the company's corporate headquarters and administrative operations to Wisconsin while continuing office and production facilities in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and St. Louis.
"World Marketing has developed a great reputation with an incredible list of clients," said Kraft. "We're committed to continue providing exceptional support and service those clients have come to expect from the more than 450 world-class employees working in our operations across five states."
Kraft and his investors have more than 100 years of combined direct mail and corporate operations experience with a focus on quality and customer service. They also bring a variety of complementary digital and video marketing services and tools to the World Marketing team, which currently processes more than 1 billion pieces of mail annually for clients such as American Airlines, Kraft Foods, Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
"With the rapid growth of our newspaper business, World Marketing was no longer a core part of our business as our focus accelerated on newspapers," explained Terry Kroeger, president and CEO of BH Media Group. "We are pleased to have found a buyer that is focused and dedicated on growing its direct mail business, which will be a good result for customers and employees."
Longtime World Marketing executive Joe Ewers whose family started the operation in 1974, also added: "This new leadership team brings the experience and additional product offerings which add incredible value to our current customers and clients, as well as position us as a company to expand operations here in Wisconsin. We're excited about what's to come."
Milwaukee-based Optimus Financial Services helped secure acquisition financing for the deal from Associated Bank in Milwaukee.