Agency powerhouse William Morris Endeavor and their private equity partners Silver Lake Partners have reportedly placed the top offer to acquire sports and entertainment talent agency IMG. According to the New York Times, WME had the winning bid, offering $2.3 billion for the agency, winning over two other competitors, ICM, backed by the Carlyle Group and a partnership between CVC Capital and former News Corp. exec Peter Chernin.
IMG has been looking for a buyer since the 2011 death of Theodore J. Forstmann, founder of the private equity firm Forstmann Little, which acquired IMG in 2004 for $750 million. Forstmann Little announced in August that they were soliciting bids for the agency and said they were expecting to realize about $2.3 billion on the sale.
Other competitors for IMG included WME rivals CAA and their private equity partners TPG, but CAA pulled out of the bidding early, as did a number of private equity investors such as Bain Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
An official announcement about the deal is expected on Wednesday. via CelebrityAccess