CAA to Acquire ICM Partners in Mega Agency Deal

·2 min read

CAA will acquire ICM Partners in what would be a gigantic merger between the Hollywood talent agencies, the companies announced Monday.

If approved, the merger between the two 46-year-old rivals would leave just three major talent agencies in Hollywood — WME, CAA and UTA. The deal also marks the largest acquisition of its kind since WMA and Endeavor merged in 2009 and WME acquired the sports marketing giant IMG in 2014.

The deal is expected to close later this year, subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals. Financial terms were not disclosed.

CAA heads Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane and Richard Lovett will oversee the new company, while ICM chairman Chris Silbermann will join CAA’s shareholder board.

While there is much overlap in the operations of the two agencies, ICM boasts a major publishing division as well as a strong toehold in global sports representation since its 2020 acquisition of the London-based sports agency Stellar Group — which represents 800-plus top athletes, particularly soccer stars, across 10 countries.

“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,” Lourd, Huvane and Lovett said in a statement. “The strategic combination of CAA and ICM bolsters our collective resources, expertise, and relationships to deliver even more opportunities for our world-class clients to build their careers and their brands across multiple disciplines and platforms in an evolving marketplace.”

Silbermann added: “We’re thrilled to partner and combine forces with the talented CAA team. 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.”

The CAA-ICM merger comes amid a wave of consolidation across Hollywood.

In addition, the agency business has undergone significant upheaval in recent years. WME, whose parent company Endeavor went public in April, has diversified by expanding into live-events businesses like the Ultimate Fighting Championship. And all the agencies have had to retreat from the lucrative packaging of film and TV projects to fulfill contractual commitments to the Writers Guild of America; they are also required to hold no more than a 20% stake in production companies that had become another major revenue source.

The deal also comes months after a bombshell L.A. Times report about ICM Partners in which multiple former employees accused male agents and executives of harassment and other misconduct. ICM has said it “does not tolerate harassment, bullying or other inappropriate conduct. HR investigates all reports received and addresses each with appropriate disciplinary measures up to and including dismissal.”

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