Carat Interactive Acquires Freestyle

Supporting the growing trend of agency consolidation, Carat Interactive on Monday acquired one of the last privately held full-service interactive shops, San Francisco-based Freestyle Interactive. The acquisition bring creative talent as well as new leadership to Carat Interactive's San Francisco office. The combined agencies will operate under the name Carat Interactive.

"Carat is attempting to fundamentally change clients' expectations of what a Media Services Company should be and can become," said David Verklin, president of Carat North America. "We want to maintain our commitment to integration and innovation, and the creative inspiration from Freestyle will help Carat Interactive achieve this goal."

Freestyle has developed award winning campaigns for leading brands like Showtime, Ofoto, Microsoft and Toys "R" Us.

Toby Gabriner, president & COO of Freestyle has been named EVP Managing Director, and Karim Sanjabi, Freestyle's Founder and CEO, will assume the role of EVP Creative & Technology at Carat Interactive. Other executive changes include Mike Yapp of Freestyle and Tamara Birdsall of Carat Interactive as co-creative directors and Freestyle's Jason Shulman as SVP Business Development.

Doug Flynn, CEO of Aegis Group, said, "Aegis believes strongly that the digital marketing sector is poised for growth, and so we are favorable toward this acquisition which will strengthen Carat's position in the digital space. We are confident that Freestyle will add increased creative excellence, as well as an impressive client roster to Carat Interactive's already strong base, resulting in substantial revenue growth for the business."

Financial details were not disclosed.

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