McLEAN WATSON INVESTMENTS LTD. ACQUIRES CONTROLLING STAKE IN WILLIAM ASHLEY LTD.

TORONTO, Feb. 15 /CNW/ - McLean Watson Investments Ltd. is pleased to announce that it has acquired a controlling stake in William Ashley Ltd.

Loudon Owen, Managing Partner of McLean Watson, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of William Ashley. Karen McGuire has been appointed President, bringing over 30 years of experience in the retail trade industry. 

"We are thrilled to be associated with this iconic retailer and its extraordinary brand," said Loudon Owen.

"William Ashley has one of the most important brands and histories in Canadian retail. The last few years have been challenging for retailers, but we now look ahead to a robust retail industry and a revitalized business. We thank our customers, suppliers and employees for their support for over 60 years, and look forward to both retaining our leadership position, and growing the business," said Karen McGuire.

William Ashley is Canada's leading retailer of fine china, crystal, silver, tableware and unique gifts. It was established in 1947, and it headquartered at its flagship store at the intersection of Bloor and Bay Streets in Toronto, Canada.

McLean Watson is a private, Toronto-based investment group, which invests in and works with leading companies and entrepreneurs. It assists in the operations and growth of businesses, including international expansion. William Ashley already has an international reputation, and McLean Watson is investigating a wide range of expansion opportunities.

Biographies

Loudon Owen
Loudon Owen is Co-Founder and Managing Partner at McLean Watson Capital. He holds a BA from University of Toronto an LL.B from Osgoode Hall, and an MBA from INSEAD in France. McLean Watson is one of Canada's pre-eminent venture capital firms. Based in Toronto, it also has offices in Shanghai and Singapore.

Karen McGuire
Karen McGuire is a senior marketing executive with a proven record of excellent results across a wide variety of sectors: luxury packaged goods, retail, quick service and full service restaurant, travel, advertising, magazine publishing, real estate and business development expertise. She was instrumental in the launch of Clinique cosmetics in Canada in 1982, and has held senior positions at Wendy's Restaurants and Thomas Cook Travel and Fuel Advertising. She brings a wealth of experience in the retail sector.

SOURCE WILLIAM ASHLEY LTD.

For further information:

Jackie Chiesa
William Ashley Ltd.
(416) 923-3814

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WILLIAM ASHLEY LTD.

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