A key aspect of this merger is that as ‘Sparks, A FreemanCompany,’ we will maintain our brand and operational structure, preserving the essence of what has made us successful. The familiar faces of our leadership team will continue to guide Sparks, ensuring a seamless integration consistent with our established corporate values and client-centric mission.
Scott Tarte, co-owner and past CEO of Sparks, expresses his enthusiasm for the merger, highlighting the shared culture and vision between the two companies. "This combination reinforces our leadership position in the industry and sets the stage for future success," says Tarte. "By harnessing our collective strengths, Sparks, A Freeman Company will be well-positioned to continue a legacy of innovation and excellence, crafting meaningful experiences for Fortune 1000 brands.”
With the merger, Sparks clients will have access to a wide range of resources, locations, and expertise. We will gradually integrate relevant personnel, locations, and clients from Freeman's agency and custom exhibits business into our operations, creating an exciting new growth platform that holds immense potential for us and our valued customers.
For more information, please review the following press release:
Sparks to Combine with Freeman’s Agency Business to Create a Leader in Corporate Events, Corporate Exhibits and Brand Experience
DALLAS, TX – August 1, 2023 – Freeman, a global leader in events, today announced that it has acquired Sparks, a global brand experience agency. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 1919 and headquartered in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania, Sparks is globally recognized for providing award-winning exhibit and event experiences to a diverse group of Fortune 1000 brands, includingGoogle, Salesforce, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and T-Mobile. Sparks’ proven approach to best-in-class client service, project management, and delivery is designed for and tailored to corporate customers.
Sparks will combine with Freeman’s award-winning agency business, which also caters to major corporate clients, including Amazon,Cisco, and Kohler.
This agency combination will focus on the corporate market and complements Freeman’s industry expertise and operational excellence, positioning the Company to accelerate its growth by meeting the evolving needs of corporate clients and show organizers.
“Our combination with Sparks creates a unique opportunity to accelerate Freeman’s vision to become a leader in the corporate space,” saidBob Priest-Heck, Chief Executive Officer of Freeman. “Sparks, like Freeman, is built by great people, has a long history of success, and is one of the most respected names in the industry. We couldn’t be more excited to have Sparks’ talented team join Freeman at this exciting time for the industry.”
David Sudjian, Chief Executive Officer of Sparks said, “I am thrilled about the immense potential Freeman and Sparks have together. Our exceptional teams are eager to collaborate and leverage our strengths to create extraordinary experiences. The alignment of culture and values between Freeman and Sparks truly sets this combination apart, fueling our ability to deliver remarkable moments worldwide. Together, I am confident we will reach new heights, driven by a shared commitment to excellence.”
“As our 96-year history shows, Freeman continues to be an industry leader because of our ability to understand trends and make bold strategic moves to support our customers’ needs today and tomorrow,” saidCarrie Freeman Parsons, Chair of Freeman. “As a family-owned company, we will continue to enhance our capabilities to better support corporate customers –deepening those relationships while also nurturing our longstanding relationships with show organizers. We look forward to delivering outstanding event experiences with the additional support of our strategic partnerKKR.
Financing for the transaction was provided by KKR primarily through KKR Opportunities Fund II and funds and accounts managed by itsStrategic Investments Group and KKR Credit.
J.P. Morgan is serving as exclusive financial advisor toFreeman, and King & Spalding LLP is serving as legal counsel to Freeman. Cozen O’Connor is serving as legal counsel to Sparks. Simpson Thacher &Bartlett LLP acted as legal counsel to KKR.
Freeman is a global leader in events, on a mission to redefine live for a new era. With a data-driven approach and the industry’s largest network of experts, Freeman’s insights shape exhibitions, exhibits, and events that drive audiences to action. The integrated full-service solutions leverage a 96-year legacy in event management as well as new technologies to deliver moments that matter. For more information, please visit https://www.freeman.com/
Sparks is a live + digital experiential marketing agency. We specialize in creating connection--real human connection--onsite, online or anywhere. Through a thoughtful mix of sound strategy, next-level creative and flawless execution, we create memorable trade show exhibits, live and virtual events, brand activations, and other immersive experiences that deepen relationships, inspire action, and build trust--and we do it all over the world. To learn more about Sparks, visit us at wearesparks.com
Jared Levy / Mike DeGraff