Silver Lake Backs Winning Bid For Sports Agency IMG

Dec 18 2013 | 12:23pm ET

Private equity firm Silver Lake Partners has pulled off another megadeal.

Talent agency William Morris Endeavor—backed by Silver Lake—has won the auction for IMG Worldwide, one of the world's leading sports agencies. The two will pay about $2.4 billion for the company, which is being sold by the estate of the late private-equity billionaire Theodore Forstmann, whose Forstmann Little & Co. bought IMG nine years ago for $750 million.

Silver Lake, which earlier this year backed Dell Inc. founder Michael Dell's successful bid for his namesake company, and William Morris bested private-equity firms Carlyle Group and CVC Capital Partners for IMG. Carlyle had teamed with ICM Partners and CVC, which bid about $2 billion, with Chernin Group.

IMG represents, among others, tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova, and supermodel Gisele Bundchen.

Silver Lake owns 31% of William Morris.

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