William Morris Endeavor Entertainment and Silver Lake to Acquire IMG
Combined Company to Provide a Diverse Scope of Opportunities for Clients Across the International Sports and Entertainment Ecosystem
Beverly Hills, CA and Menlo Park, CA – December 18, 2013 – William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME), one of the world’s leading talent, entertainment and media companies, and Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing, today announced an agreement to acquire IMG Worldwide (IMG). The company is a market leader in college and professional sports, event management, client representation, fashion and multi-media rights management.
“IMG has incredible strategic value to WME. The brand’s global reach, outstanding management team and leadership across sports, fashion and media are a strong complement to our business,” said WME Co-CEOs Patrick Whitesell and Ariel Emanuel. “We are honored to build on the legacy of founder Mark McCormack and recent owner Ted Forstmann. Supported by Silver Lake’s continued partnership, WME and IMG together will deliver a broad range of opportunities and resources to the companies and talent we collectively represent.”
The combination of WME and IMG creates a unique global sports and entertainment platform, operating across North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. WME and IMG together will have an unparalleled client roster; a broad relationship base with sponsors, brands and broadcasters; and marquee assets in sports, events, film and television, and fashion. Patrick Whitesell and Ariel Emanuel will serve as Co-CEOs of the combined company.
“IMG is well positioned in large and expanding end markets, with significant and untapped potential for growth. We look forward to building on IMG’s illustrious heritage by accelerating its existing growth plans and expanding the company’s digital platform,” said Egon Durban, Managing Partner of Silver Lake. “This investment extends our successful partnership with Ari, Patrick and the WME team as the company continues its transformation into an integrated player across the new media landscape.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Silver Lake and WME were advised and financed by J.P. Morgan, Barclays, RBC Capital Markets and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and advised by The Raine Group, Dean Bradley Osborne, Lazard, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Evercore and Morgan Stanley served as the financial advisors to Forstmann Little.
About William Morris Endeavor Entertainment
WME is a leading entertainment and media company with an unparalleled client list of artists and content creators across film, television, music, literature, theatre and digital media. Led by an experienced and innovative management team, WME was formed by the 2009 merger of the William Morris Agency and Endeavor. The company has over 1,000 employees and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, with offices in New York, Nashville, London and Miami. Through its partner companies, including award-winning global creative agency Droga5, WME also provides clients with unique advertising, brand integration and marketing opportunities across traditional, social media, mobile and gaming platforms.
About Silver Lake
Silver Lake is a global leader in private investments in technology and technology-enabled industries. Silver Lake invests with the strategic and operational insights of an experienced industry participant. The firm has approximately 110 investment and value creation professionals located in New York, Menlo Park, San Mateo, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo and manages approximately $20 billion in combined assets under management. The Silver Lake Partners portfolio includes or has included technology and technology-enabled industry leaders such as Alibaba, Allyes, Ameritrade, Avago, Business Objects, Dell, Flextronics, Gartner, Gerson Lehrman Group, Global Blue, Go Daddy, Instinet, Intelsat, Interactive Data Corporation, MCI, Mercury Payment Systems, MultiPlan, the NASDAQ OMX Group, NetScout, NXP, Sabre, Seagate Technology, Skype, Spreadtrum, SunGard Data Systems, UGS, Vantage Data Centers, Virtu and William Morris Endeavor. For more information about Silver Lake and its entire portfolio, please visit www.silverlake.com.