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CAA’s acquisition of rival ICM finally completes

By | Published on Wednesday 29 June 2022


LA-based talent agency CAA has completed its acquisition of rival ICM Partners. The merger – which was first announced last September – was delayed because of a lengthy investigation by the competition law division of the US Department Of Justice.

The deal boosts CAA’s market share across the entire talent sector, including in live music. It also means there are now three dominant Hollywood talent agencies – CAA, WME and UTA – ICM having being the fourth biggest player prior to its acquisition.

Sources have told The Hollywood Reporter that ICM was valued at $750 million as part of the deal, which gives the newly combined CAA/ICM an enterprise value of around $5 billion.

Commenting on the deal, CAA chiefs Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane and Richard Lovett said in a joint statement: “Today marks a new chapter in the history of our company, positioning us better than ever to deliver extraordinary opportunities for many of the world’s preeminent artists, athletes, thought leaders, brands and organisations in entertainment, sports, and culture”.

“We are THRILLED to welcome our new ICM colleagues to CAA”, they added, “and look forward to combining their expertise, relationships and resources with those of our agents and executives around the world”.

Meanwhile, ICM bosses Chris Silbermann and Ted Chervin said: “Combining with the best-in-class agency to build an even greater representation company for our clients and our colleagues is the core strategic reason for this move. We couldn’t be more enthusiastic about our future together, and are energised by the sophisticated, forward-thinking representation we offer clients. This is the ideal next step for our companies”.

Although the CAA chiefs are “THRILLED” to welcome the ICM team to their newly expanded business, they won’t actually be welcoming all of them. According to Deadline, about 425 ICM people will move to CAA, which is about 80% of the total workforce. It’s thought the downsizing caused by the merger will happen pretty quickly.

That said, despite the inevitable streamlining of the workforce, THR reports that there is a feeling of relief at ICM, the long-drawn out process of the two companies merging, because of the regulator investigation, having hit morale at the agency.

With the CAA/ICM merger complete, there are rumours that CAA might now follow the lead of its big competitor WME, the parent company of which listed on the New York Stock Exchange last year, albeit after a number of delays in getting its IPO under way.

CAA is currently majority owned by investment outfit TPG, which also had an IPO earlier this year, but the combined CAA/ICM could possibly be spun off as its own publicly listed company. That said, no tangible moves in that regard seem to have been made as yet.