UPDATED, 8:30 PM: The deal officially has closed today, and here is a welcoming letter to IMG Worldwide employees from WME Co-CEOs Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel looking forward to “what will surely be an epic collaboration”:
Our acquisition of IMG has officially closed, and we’d like to take this opportunity to express how excited we are to work with all of you.
Whether you’ve been here for 20 years or two weeks, think of today as day one.
IMG wouldn’t be where it is today without the incredible employees that define its culture. You’ve been amazing throughout this process, and we’re ready to get started on what will surely be an epic collaboration.
Patrick and Ariel
PREVIOUSLY, December 18: It’s done now. After some last-minute tweaking of the finer points of the $2.2 billion deal, talent, management and licensing powerhouse IMG Worldwide has been acquired by WME and Silver Lake Partners. WME’s Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell will serve as as co-CEOs of the now mega-agency, though IMG and its more than 3,000 employees worldwide will continue as an independent entity, the parties announced this morning. “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,” Whitesell and Emanuel said in a statement. Details are sketchy and there is a lot of … Read More »
The Hollywood agency and its financial cohort Silver Lake Partners have emerged from a pack of deep-pocketed suitors and are near a deal to acquire talent and management powerhouse IMG Worldwide. Deal figures have been murky during this entire bidding process, but we’re hearing the sale price is around $2 billion. A deal is imminent, we’re told, but no announcement is coming tonight. Other details: IMG, the powerhouse firm that reps athletes and models among several divisions, would function independently under the new structure, but its owners Forstmann Little would have have no equity stake.
Related: WME Sets Silver Lake As Strategic Digital Equity Partner
If and when this one makes, it will enlarge agency powerhouse WME and put the latest feather in the caps of WME co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, who have been focused on big-picture growth since their Endeavor merged with William Morris in 2009. Since then they have expanded WME’s reach on several fronts including digital, culminating in May 2012 when WME and Silver Lake launched their strategic digital partnership, with the private equity firm acquiring a 31% non-controlling stake in the agency. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: A lot of WME staffers tomorrow get handed checks courtesy of that recent deal with strategic equity partner Silver Lake Partners. The agency won’t say who gets how much, but a source tells me, “There are some checks that are obnoxiously high, and there are some checks that are high enough.” It’s not just board members and partners, either: I’m told WME assistants will get $1,000 each as a “token of appreciation”. (Hey, isn’t that what those poorly paid peons pocket all year?) On May 2nd the Hollywood agency announced that techno-savvy Silver Lake was taking a 31% non-controlling minority interest in a deal set by WME toppers Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell. The investor, Emanuel, and Whitesell all decided to bestow the cash.
EXCLUSIVE: WME Sets Silver Lake As Strategic Digital Equity Partner In Exchange For 31% Non-Controlling Minority Interest Of The Agency
BEVERLY HILLS, CA AND MENLO PARK, CA – May 2, 2012 – William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME), one of the world’s leading entertainment and media companies, and Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing, announced today that they have launched a new strategic partnership and have signed a definitive agreement for Silver Lake to acquire a minority stake in the company.
In a statement the WME Management Board said: “Our partnership with Silver Lake will accelerate WME’s transformation into a technologically innovative entertainment and media company and ensure we can best support our clients across all digital media channels. This investment will give WME access to Silver Lake’s expertise, resources and relationships across the global technology industry, ensuring our clients and the content they create are strategically positioned for the future as the convergence of technology, entertainment and media accelerates.”
“Partnering with Silver Lake aligns WME with the global leader in technology investing, and ensures that all of our clients across film, TV, music, literature and other genres can capitalize on the dramatic new opportunities emerging from the digital media revolution,” said WME Co-CEOs Patrick Whitesell and Ariel Emanuel. “While we have already taken significant strategic steps to transition our business to the new digital media landscape, we are excited
… Read More »
It’s Official: WME-Silver Lake Announcement
BREAKING… EXCLUSIVE… UPDATED: WME held a mandatory staff meeting this morning to announce internally that a “strategic equity partner”, techno-savvy Silver Lake Partners, is taking a 31% non-controlling minority interest in the agency. Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell stressed to the tenpercentery that the investor will have no ability to acquire an additional stake or to force a sale/IPO on the agency: “WME’s day to day operations will continue to be run by its current leadership team and management board.” The internal announcement was made on the 3-year anniversary this week of Endeavor merging with the William Morris Agency. Egon Durban, a Managing Partner of Silver Lake, will join WME’s Executive Committee along with the company’s Co-CEOs and will also help create a new Technology Advisory Council that “will identify technology related growth opportunities which would benefit WME’s clients”. Emanuel, Whitesell and the entire management team have all renewed long-term contracts with WME. In a statement, the WME Management Board said: “Our partnership with Silver Lake will accelerate WME’s transformation into a technologically innovative entertainment and media company and ensure we can best support our clients across all digital media channels. This investment will give WME access to Silver Lake’s expertise, resources and relationships across the global technology industry, ensuring our clients and the content … Read More »