Partnership Years in the MakingSmollan and Advantage have a longstanding association, drawn together as like-minded, people-focused companies, with similar histories of service innovation. "It was clear early on that we shared not only global aspirations, but a passion for continually enhancing our services" said Smollan CEO David Smollan, who will join the Advantage leadership team as a partner advisor. "For example, the marketing division Advantage launched to help clients connect with shoppers and drive sales has become the number one experiential and promotional marketing agency in the U.S. Similarly, Smollan leads the industry with advanced technology and mobility platforms that provide clients with actionable insights to the trade." Both companies also have proven expertise in consolidating companies serving fragmented markets into a cohesive whole that continues to understand and cater to local market differences. Advantage rolled up 18 regional retail sales agencies to establish a North American footprint in the 1990s and, more recently, over 15 regional foodservice agencies to form the largest national division of its kind. Smollan has a longstanding international vision and history of expanding its model across borders into complex high growth markets such as India, China, Pakistan, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Unified Solution for Europe This combined experience will be integral as the Advantage and Smollan partnership turns its immediate attention to developing its unified solution for Europe through a new jointly-owned holding company, Advantage Smollan, for which they are actively pursuing like-minded acquisition partners who are culturally aligned in a quest for service excellence, thought leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, all leading to better results for clients and customers. "The European landscape shows clear parallels to other consolidations we have led," Ms. Domier remarked. "We believe that this strategy will benefit manufacturers seeking holistic retail merchandising, technology, and reporting solutions that span Europe. Our European teams will offer the industry's best capabilities and technology along with the local knowledge to address the unique dynamics of individual markets."
Mr. Smollan continued: "To fulfill our promise as a best-in-class business services company across Europe and on a global scale, we need the absolute best in terms of people and resources. As we look to complete our geographic footprint in Europe and beyond, we are targeting companies who are number one in their markets and who share our entrepreneurial culture and passion for adding value as they will have an ownership stake in the business and accountability for our growth together."This transaction is subject to customary closing procedures. About Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC Founded in 1987, Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC (Advantage) is a premier sales and marketing solutions company committed to building brand value for our clients and customers. Advantage'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., Advantage has more than 40,000 associates and offices throughout the United States and Canada. For additional information, visit www.asmnet.com or call 949-797-3105. About Smollan Group Smollan was founded in 1931 as a Regional South African based sales agency. Today, Smollan is an international retail solutions company that delivers growth for retailers and brand owners across five continents through leading solutions in field sales and retail execution, activation, information and technology. With extensive industry experience, an exceptional human platform of over 60,000 employees and sophisticated systems, Smollan has provided consistent service excellence to retailers and manufacturers for three generations. We see ourselves as the pivot point where the retailer, brand owner and shopper intercept. For additional information, visit www.smollan.co.za. About WPP plc WPP is the world's largest communications services group with billings of US$76 billion and revenues of US$19 billion. Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising & media investment management; data investment management; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing and specialist communications. The company employs over 188,000 people (including associates and investments) in over 3,000 offices across 111 countries. For more information, visit www.wpp.com.