SF Interactive, a leading San Francisco Web agency, sold a $10 million minority stake to William E. Simon & Sons, a private equity group in Morristown, N.J., and Los Angeles. SF Interactive will use the money for expansion, including plans to start or buy offices in several key U.S. cities and to develop proprietary measurement, tracking and e-commerce applications. SF Interactive earlier this year announced it was open to a possible sale. SF Interactive President-CEO Bruce Carlisle said the deal didn't happen because of client conflicts and disagreement over valuation. Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide was believed to be the agency that had been in negotiations with SF Interactive; Mr. Carlisle declined to comment. Mike Windsor, president of Ogilvy Interactive Worldwide, said the agency is not currently in any talks with SF Interactive regarding an acquisition. Mr. Carlisle didn't rule out some deal with an ad agency down the road but said the decision to raise capital now "just says we believe in ourselves for the moment.'' SF Interactive projects 1999 revenues of more than $7 million.
Copyright December 1999, Crain Communications Inc.