CAA and ICM Partners are joining forces in a landmark agency merger that reflects the larger consolidation in the entertainment landscape, Variety has learned.
The deal, if approved, would mark a shift in the Hollywood agency landscape, reducing the Big Four agencies to the Big Three, with WME and UTA as CAA’s largest competitors.
The deal unveiled Monday morning is the largest agency transaction since WME acquired IMG in 2014 and since Endeavor joined forces with William Morris Agency in 2009, which forged the contemporary WME.
The prospect of CAA and ICM combining would bring the latter’s TV literary department, publishing and music strength to CAA. ICM in recent months has bolstered its operations in sports, where CAA already has a big footprint, and in broadcast TV news anchors and hosts, where CAA is not as active.
“Today’s storytellers, athletes, thought-leaders, and trend-setters who can move, inspire, and attract large, global audiences have unprecedented opportunity and ability to achieve their goals and aspirations,” said CAA’s managing trio of Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane and Richard Lovett in a statement. “The strategic combination of CAA and ICM bolsters our collective resources, expertise, and relationships to deliver even more opportunities for our world-class clients to build their careers and their brands across multiple disciplines and platforms in an evolving marketplace. Our strong financial position enables us to continue to expand and diversify our businesses, with service and representation remaining central to what we do and who we are. We’re fortunate to have a partner in ICM who shares our commitment to the widest and most inclusive vision possible for what our clients and company can accomplish together.”
Many details of the transaction remain to be revealed, including how ICM’s senior managers will fit in the CAA picture. ICM Partners chief Chris Silbermann will join CAA’s shareholder board.
“We’re thrilled to partner and combine forces with the talented CAA team,” said Silbermann. “Together, we will build upon our accomplishments and entrepreneurial spirit, and continue to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to the best interests of our clients, as well as empowering new, diverse voices within the industry.”
Industry sources immediately questioned whether the consolidation would draw anti-trust scrutiny from federal regulators.
CAA and ICM were created around the same time in the mid-1970s after another period of turmoil in the agency arena. CAA was started
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