WME | IMG Announces New Strategic Partnership with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and GIC
Investments to Accelerate Next Stage of Growth for Global Leader in Entertainment, Sports and Fashion
New Investors to Join Silver Lake, SoftBank and Fidelity as WME | IMG Strategic Partners
Beverly Hills, CA – August 2, 2017 – WME | IMG, a global leader in entertainment, sports and fashion, today announced an investment by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, of approximately $1 billion. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
CPPIB and GIC will join current investors Silver Lake, SoftBank and Fidelity as WME | IMG strategic partners. Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing, will continue its strategic partnership with WME | IMG, which began with its first investment in WME in 2012, maintaining the entirety of its equity stake and helping the company continue to capitalize on the accelerating convergence of technology and content.
“We’re thrilled to welcome CPPIB and GIC – two leading global investors – to the WME | IMG family as our newest strategic partners,” remarked Ariel Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, Co-CEOs, WME | IMG. “We look forward to working with them to continue growing our international footprint and delivering valuable new opportunities to all our clients and partners.”
“Under the brilliant leadership of Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, WME | IMG has transformed both their business and their industry, creating a powerful and highly differentiated global platform,” said Egon Durban, Managing Partner of Silver Lake. “We are very excited to welcome CPPIB and GIC as new strategic partners. In addition, we are highly enthusiastic about Silver Lake’s decision to extend our investment in WME | IMG.”
“This investment in a unique market leading platform in entertainment, sports and media further diversifies our portfolio,” said Ryan Selwood, Managing Director, Head of Direct Private Equity, Private Investments, CPPIB. “WME | IMG’s broadly diversified group of global businesses, and management team with a proven track record of building shareholder value position the company well for growth, particularly in content production and distribution. We are pleased to have another opportunity to invest alongside Silver Lake, a longstanding partner, and WME | IMG’s management to support future growth of the business.”
“GIC is committed to supporting WME | IMG’s continuing innovation, industry leadership and international expansion,” said Eric Wilmes, Managing Director of Private Equity at GIC. “WME | IMG has demonstrated a capacity to grow and diversify in an increasingly complex environment for sports, entertainment and fashion globally. As a long-term investor, GIC believes the company will benefit from the strong trend of consumers demanding quality content.”
WME | IMG represents a powerful and diverse roster of artists and creators across every entertainment vertical including motion picture, television, music, books, digital and theater. Its sports client roster ranges from professional athletes and sports federations and leagues to collegiate institutions.
Through its continued expansion and diversification, WME | IMG has transformed into a global platform of leading entertainment, sports and fashion assets, delivering more value and opportunities to its clients and partners. Over the last several years, the company has completed a series of strategic acquisitions and partnerships, expanding its owned assets to include premium global brands like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Professional Bull Riders (PBR), The Miss Universe Organization and Frieze, an arts media and events company.
WME | IMG also owns, operates or commercially represents hundreds of sports, fashion and entertainment events, including the Miami Open and New York Fashion Week, and curates premier culinary and globally franchised cultural festivals. The company works with top global advertisers to develop meaningful consumer platforms on behalf of its clients, and helps new and iconic brands optimize their licensing potential. WME | IMG also operates one of the largest sports training institutions in the world, IMG Academy.
Additionally, IMG produces more than 52,000 hours of sports programming and arranges to distribute an additional 32,000 hours on behalf of more than 200 clients including major sports leagues, events and entertainment properties each year. These include UFC, one of the largest and fastest growing sports brands in the world, reaching more than 152 countries and 1.1 billion television households. IMG is also an international leader in model management and talent discovery and manages the photographers, stylists, creative directors, hair and makeup artists, production designers and illustrators who bring the worlds of art and fashion to life.
About WME | IMG
WME | IMG is a global leader in entertainment, sports and fashion operating in more than 30 countries. Named one of Fortune’s 25 Most Important Private Companies, WME | IMG specializes in talent representation and management; brand strategy, activation and licensing; media production, sales and distribution; and event management.
About Silver Lake
Silver Lake is the global leader in technology investing, with about $39 billion in combined assets under management and committed capital and a team of approximately 100 investment and value creation professionals located in Silicon Valley, New York, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Silver Lake’s portfolio of investments collectively generates more than $140 billion of revenue annually and employs more than 300,000 people globally. The firm’s current portfolio includes leading technology and technology-enabled businesses such as Alibaba Group, Ancestry, Broadcom Limited, Cast & Crew, Ctrip, Dell Technologies, Fanatics, Global Blue, GoDaddy, Motorola Solutions, Red Ventures, Sabre, SoFi, SolarWinds, Symantec, and WME | IMG. For more information about Silver Lake and its entire portfolio, please visit ww.silverlake.com.
About Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is a professional investment management organization that invests the funds not needed by the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to pay current benefits on behalf of 20 million contributors and beneficiaries. In order to build a diversified portfolio of CPP assets, CPPIB invests in public equities, private equities, real estate, infrastructure and fixed income instruments. Headquartered in Toronto, with offices in Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Mumbai, New York City, São Paulo and Sydney, CPPIB is governed and managed independently of the Canada Pension Plan and at arm’s length from governments. At March 31, 2017, the CPP Fund totalled $316.7 billion.
GIC is a leading global investment firm established in 1981 to manage Singapore’s foreign reserves. A disciplined long-term value investor, GIC is uniquely positioned for investments across a wide range of asset classes, including real estate, private equity, equities and fixed income. In private equity, GIC invests through funds as well as directly in companies, partnering with its fund managers and management teams to help world class businesses achieve their objectives. GIC has investments in over 40 countries. Headquartered in Singapore, GIC employs over 1,400 people across 10 offices in key financial cities worldwide. For more information on GIC, please visit www.gic.com.sg.