EVO Business Supplies Limited, the holding company of the EVO group of companies, the UK and Ireland’s largest multi-channel distributor of business supplies and services, has strengthened its board by appointing Ken Williamson a non-executive director.

Mr Williamson has significant successful senior level experience of merger and acquisition and financing work, as well as of general commercial affairs.  

He is currently chairman of Stoke-on-Trent based DW3 Products Group, a strategic investor in innovative, high growth manufacturing companies in the fenestration sector. The group is backed by north and midlands-based private equity specialists NorthEdge Capital.  

Earlier in his career, Mr Williamson was transactions director of energy recruitment specialists Air Energi, a consultant and acting chief finance officer for a Montagu Private Equity-backed management buy-out and a partner with Big Four accountancy practice Ernst & Young.

While at Air Energi, Mr Williamson led negotiations and structuring in the company’s merger with Swift Worldwide Resources. The pair in 2016 formed Airswift Holdings, an almost £1bn operator in over 50 countries, serving the technical manpower needs of energy supermajors.

Prior to that, Mr Williamson worked at Montagu Private Equity on their acquisition and subsequent carve out from banking group UBS of CEFS International, a business using cloud technologies to administer employee share participation programmes and related trading. The merged business was subsequently renamed Equatex.  

That experience followed Mr Williamson’s almost 17 years as a partner at Ernst & Young, where he built a leading reputation as a corporate finance advisor and sat on the management board for the transactions business as head of corporate finance for UK and Ireland.

Commenting on his appointment at EVO, Mr Williamson said: “I’m joining the board at a really interesting time. The EVO group of companies are a leading player, strategically well placed and performing strongly in a sector offering exciting opportunities through channel shift and ongoing consolidation.

“An important part of my role will involve supporting the management team as they look at a range of merger and acquisition and financing opportunities.”      

Welcoming Mr Williamson to the EVO board, Steve Haworth, Group Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to have a senior and experienced professional with Ken’s background and expertise on the board. He’s certain to be a major and positive influence on our organisation as we continue to exploit current opportunities and take advantage of new openings in the years ahead.”

The Sheffield-based EVO group of companies was formed in 2014 through a merger of two business supplies groups, Vasanta and office2office. The EVO group of companies provides sourcing, storage and fulfilment services to over 50,000 resellers, corporate clients and public- sector organisations through its two main trading companies: VOW, the leading business products and facilities supplies wholesaler, with a network of over 2,000 resellers, and Banner, a major workplace supplies and service provider to the private and public sectors.