Freeman, the premier provider of integrated marketing solutions for live engagements, has acquired the business and assets of SO Group, one of the leading event services firms based in the United Kingdom.
UK is the fourth largest events market in the world and where Freeman strives to expand its brand to meet client needs. In the past year, Freeman has provided project and event management in 30 countries around the world.
While several other organizations expressed interest in acquiring SO Group, it was Freeman’s commitment to serving its clients’ global needs that drove the successful bid for the UK firm.
According to Joe Popolo, CEO of Freeman, the acquisition of SO Group was motivated by a client-focused strategy. “For 86 years, Freeman has focused its business on responding to the specific needs of each client,” says Popolo. “Our customers are increasingly looking for strategic partnerships that provide seamless service beyond North America, and this acquisition positions us to answer that call.”
In response to its clients, Freeman XP agency was recently formed as an extension of the Freeman brand, an exhibit services provider, to provide event strategy and creative, logistics and measurement metrics. SO Group builds upon the company’s move toward experiential marketing by providing corresponding services, including custom exhibit builds, and audio and visual products for exhibits, live events and corporate events worldwide.
The combined business will form the industry’s foremost experiential marketing solutions provider. The business and assets of SO Group, and its subsidiary 360 Creative Event Services, will be incorporated into the Freeman family of brands and the business will operate under the trade name “SO Group, a Freeman Company.”
Like Freeman, SO Group has a history of innovative leadership driven by engaged and empowered employees. “The two businesses share a similar culture, complementary services and a shared commitment to delivering exceptional customer experience,” said David Walley, CEO of SO Group. “We are excited about what this acquisition by Freeman means for customers in North America and the UK, and we look forward to a smooth integration that brings the best of both operations under one brand.”
SO Group currently has nine locations across the UK. Their customers include a majority of the UK’s biggest exhibition organizers and a third of the major venues, including Earls Court & Olympia, Clarion Events, Reed Exhibitions, Silverstone International Racing Circuit and Upper Street Events.
The acquisition will expand each business’ geographic scope, and more importantly, the breadth and depth of capabilities and expertise to deliver the most creative and strategically innovative face-to-face marketing engagement solutions.
Both companies chose to not disclose financial information related to this transaction.