Founded in 1991 by Suzanne Shelton, Shelton Group has carved out a unique niche as a Knoxville-based marketing agency, specializing in ESG & sustainability communications. Renowned for its thought leadership, Shelton Group is known for its influential Pulse® Insights Work, a widely recognized educational resource in the sustainability industry. This specialization not only positions Shelton Group at the forefront of ESG marketing but also underscores its role in guiding brands towards more impactful and responsible business practices.

Inside the Enterprise: Who Is Shelton Group?

Shelton Group, a trailblazer in the realm of sustainability marketing, stands out for its specialized expertise in crafting compelling ESG and sustainability communication platforms. Shelton Group’s unique focus on integrating sustainability into marketing narratives makes it a pivotal player in shaping how businesses communicate their commitment to environmental and social responsibility.

Founder’s Motive: The Why Behind the Sale

Suzanne Shelton was driven to find an acquisition partner that shared her passion for sustainability and could amplify the strategic impact of her agency’s work. Her goal was to find a larger platform that would allow her to focus more on her passion for public speaking and spreading the mission of ESG work, leveraging her 30+ years of expertise in the field.

Founder’s Vision: Criteria for the Perfect Acquisition Fit

Suzanne envisioned an acquisition partner that could expand Shelton Group’s capabilities, increase client outreach, and provide her with the resources to focus on her speaking engagements. She sought a partner that would not only understand the significance of Shelton Group’s work but also enhance its reach on a global scale.

Setting the Stage: Preparing Shelton Group for Acquisition

Shelton Group was prepared for acquisition with a focus on highlighting its status as a leading female-founded ESG marketing agency, expertise in storytelling and communications, and its established position in the sustainability market.

Attracting Suitors: Strategic Marketing of Shelton Group for Acquisition

With Suzanne’s specific vision in mind, Merge began searching for potential buyers who could align with Shelton Group’s specialization in ESG communications and offer the necessary global platform for expansion.

Sealing the Deal: Perfect Matchmaking with the Ideal Buyer

ERM, a company with global recognition and a goal to bolster its sustainability expertise, emerged as the ideal buyer. Their interest in Shelton Group early in the acquisition process evolved into a clear alignment of goals and objectives.

Unlocking Synergies: Positive Impacts Post-Transaction

The acquisition by ERM presented Shelton Group with an opportunity to expand its impact on a global scale, combining its deep expertise in sustainability communications with ERM’s worldwide recognition and resources.

Finding a New Home: The Merge Difference

Merge played an instrumental role in this acquisition, aligning Shelton Group with ERM – a buyer that not only met the strategic goals but also shared the cultural values and global vision of Shelton Group, ensuring a successful and synergistic partnership.