Founded in 1985, Schiefer Chopshop (SCS) is a fast and agile agency with both sides of the brain living under one roof. James Schiefer joined the agency in 2001 when the company only had 3 employees and $1.8M in revenue. He purchased the company outright in 2005 and has since built a second-to-none creative agency focusing on brand transformation, along with tenured clients and top-tier employees. The agency provides unparalleled creative services coupled with data-driven, digital solutions that equip their clients with a one-stop shop for holistic brand transformation. Having grown both organically and through acquisitions, SCS boasts an impressive client list spanning multiple industries.

Exiting To Maximize Agency Potential

James had the vision of making SCS a top contender in the brand transformation arena. His goal was to pursue a partner to aid SCS in achieving that vision. With strategic goals to scale the agency through acquisitions of complimentary agencies, SCS was looking to bolster their suite of services and broaden their employee skill sets to take the agency to the next level. SCS has a robust list of notable clients, a skilled & tenured management team, and diversified revenue streams. Having gone through several acquisitions under the SCS umbrella, James wanted to continue with this portfolio strategy by partnering with a buyer who shared the capabilities and the long term vision aligned with James’ future strategic growth plans. 


James engaged with Barney to find the perfect buyer for SCS to catapult the future success of his growing business! 

Brand Darwinism

Inspired by the culture of Southern California, SCS utilizes insights, creativity, technology and reach to help their clients grow their brands. The agency is made up of over 100 employees including developers, designers, copywriters and marketing strategists on staff who create truly holistic and transformational marketing solutions for their clients. With offices in Costa Mesa, Ottawa and Atlanta, SCS helps some of the best brands in the world perform and prides itself on using an approach that they have coined called “Brand Darwinism”, which combines their own creative flair with data-driven results for maximum impact. 


Seeking A Non Traditional PE Buyer To Scale 

James shared with Barney that the ideal buyer for SCS would be a non-traditional PE Group that represented their perfect culture fit: cool and fun, with a deep understanding of the industry and market from both an agency and business perspective. Barney recognized the value of SCS’ expertise in brand transformation and their creative depth, and set out to find the perfect match to align with James’ vision. 

Finding The Perfect Fit

PopReach is a publicly traded multi-platform technology company based in Canada. Their focus is on investing in companies to expand their portfolio through acquisitions with a goal to optimize and grow companies and assets that provide services, technology and products to the digital media ecosystem. Popreach was seeking a creative agency to  bolster their existing companies with additional cross-selling opportunities. It was evident that James felt the synergies with the PopReach team from their very first conversation. PopReach recognized and encouraged James’ long-term plans and strategy, while also embracing the cultural fit that was integral for SCS in selecting their perfect partner! 

 “From day one James was adamant in finding the perfect buyer for SCS, so that he could continue to grow and scale the agency, all while keeping the cultural vibes intact. Throughout the acquisition journey James kept to his core principles and values, which ultimately led SCS to partner with PopReach! SCS is our ideal type of agency to work with as James kept an open mind and trusted our counsel throughout the entire process! We are so happy for the SCS team as they embark on this new journey!”

Molly McCartan, Director at Barney