Forstmann Little & Co. said it’s considering the possible sale of IMG Worldwide Inc., the talent agency that represents sports stars such as Peyton and Eli Manning.
The private-equity firm has hired Morgan Stanley (MS) and Evercore Partners Inc. (EVR) as financial advisers for a review that will include a wider range of alternatives beyond the possible sale, according to a statement yesterday. Forstmann Little, based in New York, said it hasn’t decided on a specific course or set a definitive timetable for action.
IMG could fetch $2 billion, two people with knowledge of the situation said in May. The agency, led by Chief Executive Officer Michael Dolan, represents top athletes such as the National Football League’s Mannings and tennis champion Venus Williams, and also represents models and manages fashion and sports events.
George Pyne, president of IMG Sports, said earlier this year during a sports business conference that the company would probably be sold in the next four to 24 months. Forstmann Little, co-founded by the late Ted Forstmann, bought IMG in 2004 for about $750 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Possible suitors for IMG may include Guggenheim Partners, owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Silver Lake Management LLC, which has a stake in William Morris Endeavor Entertainment LLC; and Creative Artists Agency, part owned by private-equity firm TPG Capital, according to Inner Circle Sports’s Rob Tilliss.
The agency was founded more than half a century ago with a handshake agreement between Mark McCormack and golfer Arnold Palmer, according to its website.
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