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PE-backed Advantage Sales and Marketing buys The Linkage Group

Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC (ASM) has bought The Linkage Group Inc, a third party merchandising and retail intelligence company based in Toronto. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. ASM, a U.S. provider of customized services to consumer goods manufacturers and retailers, said the deal will allow the business to continue to grow its offering in Canada. Based in Irvine, California, ASM is a portfolio company of U.S. private equity firms CVC Capital Partners and Leonard Green & Partners. It was acquired from Apax Partners in July 2014.


Advantage Sales and Marketing Canada Announces Acquisition of The Linkage Group, Inc.

New acquisition complements Advantage Sales and Marketing Canada’s best-in-class retail services.

March 05, 2015

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC (ASM) is excited to announce the acquisition of Toronto-based The Linkage Group, Inc. (Linkage), a national third party merchandising and retail intelligence company with over 600 employees throughout Canada. Linkage specializes in retail resets, planogram implementations, and retail intelligence including pricing and on-shelf audits.

“The addition of Linkage is an exemplary strategic fit as we grow our service offering in Canada,” said Mike Salzberg, ASM President and Chief Operating Officer. “The Linkage acquisition continues our strategy of building a broad array of services to meet all client needs in sales execution,” he continued.

“The Linkage Group’s capabilities in surge merchandising and retail intelligence will broaden ASM’s ability to help clients succeed in the Canadian marketplace and further increase our rapid pace of growth in this key market,” said Michael Aucoin, ASM Canada President.

This business unit will operate as “The Linkage Group” and will continue to be headquartered in Toronto, reporting into Michael Aucoin.

About Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC

Founded in 1987, Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC (ASM) is a premier sales and marketing agency committed to building brand value for our clients and customers. ASM’s customized sales and marketing solutions include headquarter sales, retail merchandising, and marketing services such as shopper, experiential, digital/social, and multicultural marketing, for the grocery, drugstore, club, convenience, natural/specialty, consumer electronics, home center, and foodservice industries. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., ASM has more than 38,000 associates and offices throughout the United States and Canada. For additional information, visit or call 949-797-3105.

Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC
Tania King, Chief Legal Officer

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