May 22, 2024

Acosta Group to Acquire CROSSMARK and Product Connections

  • Transaction will unite trusted agency brands and businesses with industry-best talent, capabilities, and technology 
  • Acosta Group intends to maintain the CROSSMARK and Product Connections brands within its agency portfolio 
  • Acquisition represents further investment in company’s transformation and expansion of its agency capabilities over the last three years 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Acosta Group announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire CROSSMARK, including its headquarter Sales Agency and Retail Solutions businesses, and Product Connections, a marketing services business, from WIS International. WIS International will retain its inventory verification services business. This transaction will further accelerate Acosta Group’s ongoing transformation, enhancing the company’s role as a proven growth engine for brands – from emerging to iconic – across all retail channels. 

“The acquisition of CROSSMARK and Product Connections organizations, with outstanding people and complementary sales, retail, and marketing services and solutions, represents another milestone in our transformation journey,” said Brian Wynne, CEO of Acosta Group. “Today’s announcement reflects our commitment to continued investment in our people, technology, client and customer relationships, and business overall, creating enhanced value for all of our stakeholders.” 

“Our strong balance sheet enables us to make these strategic investments,” added Wynne. “Our acquisition of CROSSMARK and Product Connections will strengthen our ability to provide valuable services for our customers in an industry facing persistent macroeconomic challenges, changing consumer behaviors, and further CPG and retailer consolidation. We look forward to elevating how we serve brand owners and retailers with leading-edge solutions to deliver on our purpose of connecting consumers with the brands they love.” 

Complementary Sales & Marketing Agency Capabilities  

Acosta Group, CROSSMARK, and Product Connections have complementary offerings and highly accomplished agency teams that deliver innovative, insights-based strategy, execution and results to clients and customers across all verticals, categories, and channels.  

Acosta Group launched its newly unified brand in early 2023 to build on the company’s 96-year legacy and align its omnichannel retail, marketing, and foodservice agencies to provide seamless access to its end-to-end solutions and unlock growth for its clients and customers. Building on our investments in the sales and marketing agency space, Acosta Group is committed to seamlessly onboarding the well-established CROSSMARK and Product Connections agency brands and businesses to help grow and expand the company’s capabilities and suite of services.  

The CROSSMARK and Product Connections sales and marketing agencies have served brands and retailers for more than 100 years, and the company’s core services today include headquarter sales, retail services, and marketing services.   

“Based on Acosta Group’s successful transformation under Brian and his leadership team, we are confident they will be a strong steward of CROSSMARK, Product Connections, and our people for the long term,” said Jim Rose, CEO of WIS International. “We are excited about the opportunities that being a part of Acosta Group will create for our CROSSMARK and Product Connections associates, clients, and customers.” 

Clear Stakeholder Benefits and Opportunities  

The combination will bring together the best of these trusted brands and organizations across omnichannel retail in an increasingly competitive and disruptive macroenvironment. The expected benefits of a combined Acosta Group, CROSSMARK, and Product Connections include: 

  • Delivering an expanded set of services and solutions across categories, channels, and geographies. Acosta Group clients will now have access to Product Connections’ notable in-store sampling & demonstration expertise, while CROSSMARK and Product Connections clients will be able to tap into Acosta Group’s suite of digital commerce solutions designed to help brands maximize sales and impressions on Amazon, websites, and retail media.  
  • Strengthening retail service delivery and execution. Acosta Group’s field management technology is purpose-built to manage the industry’s most robust merchandising organization. This acquisition will ensure clients throughout the combined agency collective will benefit from optimal execution and transparency around their retail ROI. 
  • Elevating how the company serves the full array of clients, from emerging to iconic brands. Acosta Group plans to continue making significant new investments to strengthen its services and solutions for emerging and medium-sized brands, unlocking access to greater data, analytics, insights, digital commerce capabilities, and innovation.
  • Doubling down on investments to develop and grow the company’s diverse, talented workforce. Acosta Group, CROSSMARK, and Product Connections are committed to enhancing associates’ skills and facilitating cross-agency mobility. This acquisition will open new avenues for associate learning and development and career pathing across our expanded agency collective. 

Additional Post-Close Information  

Following the close of the transaction, Acosta Group will continue to be led by Brian Wynne, CEO of Acosta Group. Jim Rose will remain as WIS International’s CEO, leading the inventory verification services business. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval.