CAA’s mega acquisition of ICM Partners has been completed after nearly 10 months of seeking regulatory approval, CAA announced on Tuesday. The deal is valued at $750 million with a pro forma combined enterprise value of around $5 billion, TheWrap has learned.
A source adds that 105 positions from ICM across all areas will be eliminated as part of the transition, while 425 ICM staffers and agents will be joining CAA.
The merger between the two 46-year-old rivals leaves 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.
“Today marks a new chapter in the history of our company, positioning us better than ever to deliver extraordinary opportunities for many of the world’s preeminent artists, athletes, thought leaders, brands, and organizations in entertainment, sports, and culture,” said CAA co-chairmen Kevin Huvane, Bryan Lourd and Richard Lovett. “We are thrilled to welcome our new ICM colleagues to CAA, and look forward to combining their expertise, relationships, and resources with those of our agents and executives around the world. Our diverse range of clients who entertain and inspire large global audiences have never been in more demand, nor have their opportunities been greater. With today’s addition of our new colleagues, the scope of possibilities for helping clients achieve their goals is limitless.”
“Combining with the best-in-class agency to build an even greater representation company for our clients and our colleagues is the core strategic reason for this move,” ICM’s Chris Silbermann and Ted Chervin said. “We couldn’t be more enthusiastic about our future together, and are energized by the sophisticated, forward-thinking representation we offer clients. This is the ideal next step for our companies.”
First unveiled in September 2021, CAA’s acquisition of ICM over the last 10 months received some heightened attention and scrutiny from the Department of Justice in the wake of a wave of other major entertainment mergers and acquisitions.
As the delay in closing the deal has dragged on, many ICM agents have already left for other jobs at rival agencies, management companies or elsewhere, while others are weighing exits.
CAA heads Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane and Richard Lovett are overseeing 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. The consolidation of the two companies gives CAA more than 3,200 total employees operating in 25 countries worldwide. And CAA Sports now represents 3,000 of the world’s top athletes in football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and soccer, in addition to coaches, on-air broadcasters and sports personalities.
Along with the merger, CAA is also planning a move to a new headquarters down the street in Century City by 2026.
Allen & Company LLC served as financial advisor for CAA, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz as legal advisor. Lazard served as financial advisor for ICM, with Sheppard Mullin and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP as legal advisors.