KeyImpact And Waypoint Join Forces

KeyImpact And Waypoint Join Forces

This partnership will enable the companies the leverage their expertise, strengthening their foundation in food service.

KeyImpact Sales and Systems (KeyImpact) and Waypoint have formed the preeminent foodservice agency in North America and will be named Acxion Foodservice. Acxion (pronounced “action”) has an exclusive focus on foodservice with comprehensive food and non-food sales, marketing, culinary and analytics capabilities throughout North America. The combination will provide seamless connectivity, a range of solutions and unmatched customer reach to clients.

Dan Dougherty, co-CEO of Acxion Foodservice, said, “This partnership, fueled by the best talent in the industry, allows us to leverage our expertise, strengthen our foundation in food service, and drive results for our clients.”

Co-CEO Neil Johnson said, “We are bringing the best of both agencies together to deliver industry-leading services that foster innovation and growth.” The combination includes a continued strategic partnership with Advantage Solutions Inc., a leading provider of sales and marketing services to consumer goods manufacturers and retailers, which will continue to offer services to the retail divisions of Acxion clients.

Acxion’s clients include leading foodservice manufacturers, suppliers, operators and distributors. Acxion employs the industry’s leading segment experts, researchers, strategists, culinarians, creatives, data analysts and digital and media specialists. Its comprehensive solutions allow Acxion to activate client business goals and create demand while delivering profitable growth and long-term success.

The powerful business combination is a result of the acquisition of the foodservice sales and marketing division of Advantage Solutions, including Waypoint, Ettinger-Rosini, Primeline, Coleman Greear & Associates, Halverson, Marlin Connections and CSSI. These business units possess deep capabilities, including sales brokerage representation for food, packaging, equipment, and janitorial-sanitation clients. Additionally, the collection of offerings provides research, marketing, communications, culinary and content expertise.

Advantage Solutions will maintain a minority ownership stake and have a seat on Acxion’s Board, which will allow Advantage to benefit from the agency’s growth and omnichannel offerings.

The business will be led by co-CEOs who each previously served as the leader of their prior agencies. Dan Dougherty will lead Sales and Marketing and Neil Johnson will lead Operations and Administration. The co-CEO partnership will deliver to their clients outstanding service, unmatched business plan execution and accountability. Acxion will continue to invest in capabilities that are critical priorities for foodservice suppliers, including unparalleled access to the Non-Commerical, Regional Chain, K-12 education, Military and Convenience Store segments. Acxion will drive performance in these segments through its industry-leading reach, data capture, insights and analytical capabilities.

Marlin Connections and CSSI will continue to provide full-service marketing strategy, branding, creative and media capabilities alongside comprehensive culinary innovation and national account sales support to manufacturers. The Halverson Group’s strategic analytics team will maintain its focus on solving complex business and marketing issues with insights gained from applying advanced technology, data visualization tools, and custom statistical techniques to provide unparalleled solutions to clients’ most challenging problems.

CG Sawaya Partners (operating under Canaccord Genuity) served as exclusive financial advisor to Acxion with respect to the transaction.