Advent International Taps Packaging Veteran Buzzard As Operating Partner

Nov 3 2016 | 8:46pm ET

Global private equity company Advent International has named former MeadWestvaco president James Buzzard as an operating partner.

Buzzard will work closely with Advent’s industrial team to identify and assess investment opportunities in the packaging sector globally, according to a statement. He recently assisted Advent in evaluating the acquisition of Fort Dearborn Company, a leading North American supplier of high-impact decorative labels for the food, beverage and other markets. 

Buzzard was president of MeadWestvaco from 2003 to 2014 and led the transformation of the company over his tenure. These efforts included divesting numerous business units, completing acquisitions of leading global packaging businesses, making significant investments in growth and implementing a comprehensive cost reduction program that led to strong margin expansion, Advent said. 

In 2015, MeadWestvaco merged with Rock-Tenn Company to form WestRock, one of the world's largest paper and packaging companies with $15 billion in annual revenue. A 35-year veteran of MeadWestvaco, Buzzard began his career with the company’s predecessor, Westvaco, in 1978 in the controller’s department. 

“Jim brings more than three decades of experience at one of the leading global players in the packaging industry to our growing efforts in this dynamic sector,” said Kevin Feinblum, a managing director at Advent. “We believe his in-depth knowledge of the industry and operational excellence will enhance our ability to find attractive investment opportunities and add value to companies post-investment.”

Buzzard is the latest senior executive to join Advent’s operating partner program, which includes more than 70 senior industry executives who work in specific sectors as independent consultants to Advent and its portfolio companies. These executives typically assist in activities such as finding attractive investment opportunities, conducting due diligence and creating and supporting value creation plans for Advent’s portfolio companies. 

Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in more than 315 private equity transactions in 40 countries and as of June 30, 2016, had $40 billion in assets under management. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; healthcare; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology, media and telecom. 

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