Creative Artists Agency is acquiring its rival ICM Partners in a blockbuster deal that will consolidate the ranks of major Hollywood agencies as the representation industry undergoes a pandemic-era business shift.
The companies, led by CAA‘s Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane and Richard Lovett and ICM’s Chris Silbermann, did not disclose sale price and said the deal will close later this year. Silbermann will join CAA’s shareholder board.
The merging of the Century City-based firms will leave three major talent firms — WME, CAA and UTA — that represent the bulk of dealmaking for the industry. The companies’ sale pitch notes that ICM’s books division can be paired with CAA’s film and TV focus in the representation space, giving a competitive edge. ICM has also moved further into the sports representation space recently acquiring management company Stellar Group in October, which says it has around 800 clients globally.
CAA’s acquisition of ICM also comes as the private equity firm TPG Capital, which is CAA’s majority owner, explores a public offering. Acquiring ICM would give CAA additional scale in the representation business ahead of the planned IPO. In addition to its CAA stake, TPG Capital owns a stake in the Spanish-language media giant Univision, and has invested in other companies including Spotify, STX Entertainment, Vice Media, and Cirque du Soleil.
Assuming TPG follows through with its plans to go public, CAA would become the second major Hollywood agency to have exposure to the public equity markets. WME is owned by entertainment and sports conglomerate Endeavor Group Holdings, which went public in April this year.
CAA’s minority shareholders include Singapore-based investment company Temasek and China-based CMC Capital Partners.
“Today’s storytellers, athletes, thought-leaders, and trend-setters who can move, inspire, and attract large, global audiences have unprecedented opportunity and ability to achieve their goals and aspirations,” said CAA’s Lourd, Huvane and Lovett.
The CAA chief’s joint statement noted: “Our strong financial position enables us to continue to expand and diversify our businesses, with service and representation remaining central to what we do and who we are. We’re fortunate to have a partner in ICM who shares our commitment to the widest and most inclusive vision possible for what our clients and company can accomplish together.”
ICM exec Silbermann added: “Together, we will build upon our accomplishments and entrepreneurial spirit, and continue to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to the best interests of our clients, as well as empowering new, diverse voices within the industry.”
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.