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IMG agrees $2.3bn sale to WME

The owners of IMG have agreed to sell the sports rights and marketing business to talent agency William Morris Endeavor and its private equity partner Silver lake for US$2.3 billion.

IMG is currently owned by Forstmann Little & Co., which acquired it for US$750 million in 2004 and it was put on the block in 2011 following the death of Theodore J. Forstmann, who had been running the company.

IMG backs sport leagues, licenses rights and has a talent division that represents a range of athletes and sport stars. It also has a production division, IMG Media.

When the deal closes IMG will be run by WME founders Patrick Whitesell and Ariel Emanuel. In a joint statement the pair said: “The brand’s global reach, outstanding management team and leadership across sports, fashion and media are a strong complement to our business.”