Temasek Said to Be Among Second-Round Bidders for Learfield

  • Learfield may be valued at up to $1.2 billion in possible sale
  • Thomas H. Lee Partners, CAA also said to mull buying company

Temasek Holdings Pte, the Singaporean state-owned investment group, is among the bidders for Learfield Communications Inc., people familiar with the matter said.

Temasek is in the second round of the Learfield auction, as are entertainment and sports talent group Creative Artists Agency LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Temasek may opt to bid in tandem with another group, one of the people said.

Learfield, which has been owned by private equity firm Providence Equity Partners since 2013, could fetch as much as $1.2 billion in a sale, the people said. Moelis & Co. is advising Providence on the process, they said.

Representatives for CAA, Thomas H. Lee Partners, Providence and Moelis declined to comment. A Learfield representative didn’t respond to a request for comment.

“Temasek does not comment on market speculation or rumour,” spokesman Paul Ewing-Chow said in an e-mail.

Learfield, based in Jefferson City, Missouri, helps athletic departments negotiate sponsorship and licensing deals. Its clients include the University of Alabama and Northwestern University, according to its website.

CAA, which is owned by private equity firm TPG, started its sports consultancy unit in October 2011 and now manages more than $2.5 billion in sponsorship rights, according to its website. The company also manages athletes, including the National Basketball Association’s Dwyane Wade and the National Football League’s Richard Sherman, according to its website.

TPG first invested in CAA in 2010 and then increased its holding to a majority stake in 2014. CAA has been an active acquirer, buying Munich-based consultancy Cemano Communication and Los Angeles-based PGW in 2016 and 2014, respectively.

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