April 03, 2013

Faegre Baker Daniels Advises Freeman on SO Acquisition

International law firm Faegre Baker Daniels LLP has advised The Freeman Company (UK) Ltd. (Freeman) on its acquisition of SO Group. Part of the Freeman Group, the premier provider of integrated marketing solutions for live engagements, Freeman was the successful bidder for the business and assets of SO Group in an accelerated sales process following administration.

SO Group, one of the leading UK events services firms, is a delivery provider to 88 percent of top UK organizers and preferred supplier to one-third of the largest venues in the country. Its services include bespoke design and build, creative display and signage solutions, events logistics, live experiences and events, furniture and floor coverings, and innovative registration and data capture. Both SO Group and its subsidiary, 360 Creative Event Services, will be incorporated into the Freeman family of brands and trade as "SO Group, a Freeman Company."

This acquisition reflects Freeman's strategic approach to building its business based on the needs of each client. The company is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with 70 offices across North America. According to Joe Popolo, Freeman CEO, "Our customers are looking for strategic partnerships that provide seamless service beyond North America, and this acquisition answers that call." David Walley, CEO of SO Group, cited the "similar culture, complementary services and shared commitment to delivering exceptional customer experience" as key building blocks for the transaction's success.

The deal was completed on March 28, 2013, within four days of an intra-firm referral from the U.S.

Freeman was advised on the transaction by Faegre Baker Daniels. Duff & Phelps, joint administrator, acted on the sale of SO Group and was advised by Simmons & Simmons LLP.

The Faegre Baker Daniels team was led by Linda Crow, with assistance from Mary Shields, Anna Byford, John Castell, Alex Denny, Kathryn Dowsett, Irina Mikhnova and Victoria Pengelly.

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Freeman on this acquisition and to secure a deal which benefits both our client and the 350 employees of SO Group," Linda Crow commented on the deal. "This was a complex deal with an exceptionally tight timetable for completion which required the highest level of commitment from our client and our team. We wish Freeman the best of luck and look forward to working with them in the future."

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