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PSAV Picks Up Encore from Freeman in Latest AV Acquisition

Hil Anderson
, Senior Editor
January 20, 2019
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SCHILLER PARK, Ill. – After two major acquisitions last year, and also being acquired itself, PSAV kicked off 2019 by striking a deal with The Freeman Company for Encore Event Technologies.

The deal combines two companies with a high level of rich experience worldwide providing audio-visual, staging and various production services to hotels, convention centers and other types of meeting venues. “Encore is an ideal partner for the PSAV family of companies given its shared commitment to meeting and event planners,” said Mike McIlwain, CEO of PSAV. “I am excited about what this means for PSAV and our customers, as we continue to focus on more ways to create amazing experiences wherever an event is held.”

Encore has made its own inroads internationally since it was formed in 2014 through the merger of two Freeman divisions, Encore Productions and AVT Event Technologies. The goal was to solidify Freeman’s presence in the hotel market by providing a one-stop shop for meeting and event planners. “We are extremely proud of the success everyone at Encore has achieved in building one of the world’s leading in-house hospitality, event technology, and production services businesses,” said Joe Popolo, CEO of The Freeman Company.

The sale of Encore, however, does not mean Freeman is backing away from the AV business. “Freeman AV will continue to provide full service trade show and corporate event production technology including staging, creative, lighting, audio, video, rigging, digital and other services to its clients on a non-venue specific basis.” Ken Sanders, Chief Development Officer, told Trade Show Executive.

For PSAV, the Encore deal is the continuation of a growth campaign that last year included the acquisition of Hargrove, the venerable event production firm in the busy Washington, D.C. market, and FMAV, a similar production company serving seven major cities in Canada.

The growth spurt was stoked by the equity firm Blackstone, which acquired PSAV in June 2018. “We are excited about the combination of our portfolio company, PSAV, with Encore,” Blackstone’s Peter Wallace and David Kestnbaum said in a statement. “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.”

Reach Mike McIlwain at (877) 430-7728 or; Joe Popolo at (214) 445-1000 or; Ken Sanders at (214) 623-1439 or

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