Carat North America Acquires Freeman Associates In Mass.

Carat North America acquired Freeman Associates last week, lifting Carat above $1 billion in U.S. billings.
The acquisition gives Carat some interactive and high-tech clients. Freeman, Newton, Mass., handles media for America Online, Seagate Software and Dow Jones Interactive Publishing, among others. Its billings total $175 million.
Carat will pay $5 million cash for Freeman, plus $7.5 million over three years if Freeman meets certain growth objectives.
Stig Karlsen, president of Carat North America, said the deal builds Carat a base for its technology and Internet buying. “We bought Freeman to get a leading edge on volume in that area,” Karlsen said.
Both agencies focus solely on media planning and buying. Freeman founder Ellen Freeman said, “My hope has always been to be part of a larger company What attracted me to Carat was that they are media-only and independent.”
Freeman will take a new name: Carat Freeman. Its founder will continue to run the unit and join Carat North America’s executive board.
Other Carat units include Carat MBS, New York; Carat ICG, Los Angeles; and MMA-Carat, a research firm in Wilton, Conn. Carat is owned by London-based Aegis Group.