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CCG Acquires Autograph Authentication Leader JSA to Enhance Collector Services

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In a significant development for the collectibles market, Certified Collectibles Group (CCG), known for its CGC grading services, has announced its acquisition of James Spence Authentication (JSA), a key player in autograph authentication. This merger is set to provide a comprehensive suite of services for the authentication, grading, and encapsulation of autographed collectibles, leveraging the expertise of the world's leading professionals.

James Spence Authentication, founded in 2005 by autograph aficionado James Spence, Jr., has become synonymous with autograph verification, certifying millions of signatures and creating an extensive database of nearly one million autograph images. With this acquisition, James Spence and James Spence III will continue to oversee JSA's operations, while Mark Pepitone, a co-owner, will act as a senior advisor, bringing a wealth of experience to the table.

This strategic acquisition by CCG, which itself became part of the Blackstone portfolio in 2021, responds to a growing demand from collectors for a unified service that encompasses authentication, grading, and encapsulation of autographed items. Though CCG has historically offered authentication through its Signature Series, it had not provided a full-fledged authentication and grading service for autographs, a gap that JSA will now help to bridge.

The merger is celebrated for its potential to significantly enhance the offerings available to collectors of sports memorabilia, autographs, and other collectibles, by integrating JSA’s esteemed authentication expertise with CCG’s grading and encapsulation services.

Starting April, collectors will benefit from the convenience of a unified submission process for both JSA and CCG services, streamlining the authentication, grading, and encapsulation of signed collectibles. The companies have promised more service enhancements and announcements in the coming months, signaling an ambitious roadmap ahead.

Reflecting on the acquisition, James Spence, Jr., and Mark Pepitone expressed enthusiasm for the merger with CCG, viewing it as an ideal progression for JSA. They anticipate that CCG's vast resources and extensive experience will bring innovative developments to the field of autograph authentication and collecting.

In the short term, JSA and CCG will continue to operate as separate entities as they focus on integrating their services. This strategic move is poised to offer a more comprehensive and streamlined service offering to collectors and dealers, marking a new chapter in the authentication and grading of collectibles.

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