BEVERLY HILLS — WME | IMG — a leading talent agency in fashion, entertainment and sports — announced an investment by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, of approximately $1 billion.
CPPIB and GIC will join current investors Silver Lake, SoftBank and Fidelity as WME | IMG strategic partners. Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing, will continue its strategic partnership with WME | IMG, which began with its first investment in WME in 2012, maintaining the entirety of its equity stake and helping the company continue to capitalize on the accelerating convergence of technology and content.
“We’re thrilled to welcome CPPIB and GIC – two leading global investors – to the WME | IMG family as our newest strategic partners,” remarked Ariel Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, Co-CEOs, WME | IMG. “We look forward to working with them to continue growing our international footprint and delivering valuable new opportunities to all our clients and partners.”
“Under the brilliant leadership of Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, WME | IMG has transformed both their business and their industry, creating a powerful and highly differentiated global platform,” said Egon Durban, Managing Partner of Silver Lake. “We are very excited to welcome CPPIB and GIC as new strategic partners. In addition, we are highly enthusiastic about Silver Lake’s decision to extend our investment in WME | IMG.”
“This investment in a unique market leading platform in entertainment, sports and media further diversifies our portfolio,” said Ryan Selwood, Managing Director, Head of Direct Private Equity, Private Investments, CPPIB. “WME | IMG’s broadly diversified group of global businesses, and management team with a proven track record of building shareholder value position the company well for growth, particularly in content production and distribution. We are pleased to have another opportunity to invest alongside Silver Lake, a longstanding partner, and WME | IMG’s management to support future growth of the business.”
“GIC is committed to supporting WME | IMG’s continuing innovation, industry leadership and international expansion,” said Eric Wilmes, Managing Director of Private Equity at GIC. “WME | IMG has demonstrated a capacity to grow and diversify in an increasingly complex environment for sports, entertainment and fashion globally. As a long-term investor, GIC believes the company will benefit from the strong trend of consumers demanding quality content.”
WME | IMG represents a powerful and diverse roster of artists and creators across every entertainment vertical including motion picture, television, music, books, digital and theater. Its sports client roster ranges from professional athletes and sports federations and leagues to collegiate institutions.
Through its continued expansion and diversification, WME | IMG has transformed into a global platform of leading entertainment, sports and fashion assets, delivering more value and opportunities to its clients and partners. Over the last several years, the company has completed a series of strategic acquisitions and partnerships, expanding its owned assets to include premium global brands like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Professional Bull Riders (PBR), The Miss Universe Organization and Frieze, an arts media and events company.
WME | IMG also owns, operates or commercially represents hundreds of sports, fashion and entertainment events, including the Miami Open and New York Fashion Week, and curates premier culinary and globally franchised cultural festivals. The company works with top global advertisers to develop meaningful consumer platforms on behalf of its clients, and helps new and iconic brands optimize their licensing potential. WME | IMG also operates one of the largest sports training institutions in the world, IMG Academy.