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Freeman_CEO_Joe_Popolo and PSAV CEO Mike McIlwain
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PSAV & Freeman to Acquire Encore

(Pictured L-R: Freeman CEO Joe Popolo and PSAV CEO Mike McIlwain)

PSAV, a global leader in event experiences, and The Freeman Company jointly announced that the companies have entered into a purchase agreement for PSAV to acquire Encore Event Technologies, a global provider of event technology, staging and production services.

The combination of PSAV and Encore will join two companies with deep expertise and a shared commitment to be an invaluable global partner for the meeting industry. This transaction reinforces PSAV’s mission of “Connecting and Inspiring People” by expanding the breadth of its capabilities throughout North America and Asia Pacific. The transaction is expected to close later this year. Terms of the transaction will not be disclosed.

Encore has a long and distinguished history dedicated to helping create high-impact meetings and live events for the hospitality industry. Encore operates as both an in-house partner to some of the world’s leading resorts, hotels and casinos, as well as creative production company for clients around the world.

“Encore is an ideal partner for the PSAV family of companies given its shared commitment to meeting and event planners and strong alignment with our purpose and mission,” says Mike McIlwain, CEO of PSAV. “I am excited about what this means for PSAV, and more importantly our customers, as we continue to focus on more ways to create amazing event experiences wherever an event is held.”

“We’re extremely proud of the success everyone at Encore—including our FAV Canada operations—have created in building one of the world’s leading in-house hospitality, event technology and production services businesses,” says Joe Popolo, CEO of The Freeman Company. “At Freeman we continue our mission to provide powerful brand experiences, which include our audio visual solutions, for association and corporate customers around the world.”

“It has been an honor to lead Encore and to witness its growth,” adds Ken Sanders, chief development officer, The Freeman Company. “I want to thank everyone at Encore for applying their work, skills, dedication and creativity to build this world-class company and I look forward to watching their continued prosperity as part of PSAV.”

Peter Wallace and David Kestnbaum of Blackstone’s Private Equity team says, “We are excited about the combination of our portfolio company, PSAV, with Encore. Blackstone sees continued growth opportunities in live events, and we are pleased that Encore will bring additional capabilities to support event planners and our venue partners.”

Bill Stein of Blackstone’s real estate team adds, “The combination of PSAV and Encore will further enhance our strong capabilities to serve meeting event planners and our venue partners across a diverse suite of services as part of our mission of creating a world class, diversified global live events platform.”

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal counsel to PSAV.   J.P. Morgan is acting as exclusive financial advisor to Freeman and Encore, and Baker McKenzie is serving as legal counsel to Freeman and Encore.

PSAV is a global leader in event experiences, providing creative, production, advanced technology and staging services to help meeting professionals deliver more dynamic and impactful experiences at their meetings, tradeshows and events. The team consists of more than 9,000 professionals across 1,500 on-site venue locations and 49 branch offices within the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Caribbean and the Middle East. It is the trusted partner and on-site provider of choice at leading venues worldwide. PSAV was recently named to the Forbes 2018 America’s Best Employer list. The company is headquartered in Schiller Park, Ill. For more info, visit www.psav.com.

The Freeman Company helps create meaningful connections for all types of global audiences. The family-owned company is comprised of leading brand experience company, Freeman; audio-visual and production company, Encore Event Technologies; and Alford Media, a premier event technology specialist known for the expertise and precision on large-scale shows. They have more than 90 locations globally and 7,000+ employees who are dedicated to delivering the best experiences and business outcomes possible for their clients—from strategy and design to implementation and results. For more info, visit www.freeman.com

Encore is a leading global provider of audiovisual, event technology, staging and production services. Encore serves as the in-house provider at more than 460 hotels, casinos, conference centers and resorts in North America and Asia Pacific. Encore Productions, the production division of Encore Event Technologies, is a full-service creative production company helping clients tell their stories around the world. For more info, visit www.encore-us.com, www.encore-anzpac.com and www.freemanav-ca.com.


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