Creative Artists Agency to Acquire a Big Rival


LOS ANGELES — Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has signed off on a definitive agreement to acquire one of the world’s biggest entertainment and sports agencies, putting the wheels in motion on a major merger designed to “drive broader and more inclusive representation as their clients, their work, and their brands shape culture.”

Upon closing, ICM Partners will be absorbed by CAA — effectively eliminating a competitor in the world of artist management.

The transaction is expected to close later this year, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals. Financial terms were not disclosed.

In a joint statement released Monday, CAA executives Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane, and Richard Lovett said 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.”

The trio also pointed to CAA’s “strong financial position,” which enables it to continue to expand and diversify our businesses, “with service and representation remaining central to what we do and who we are.”

They said, “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.”

ICM’s Chris Silbermann will join CAA’s shareholder board. He said, “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.”

ICM brings to CAA a global roster of artists in film, television, music, comedy, theater, games, politics, and podcasting. ICM’s books division “superbly complements” CAA’s content-driven motion pictures, television, and podcasting businesses, in addition to its speakers arm, and other divisions, CAA noted.

Further, ICM’s London-based ICM Stellar Sports, serves more than 800 clients around the globe and maintains offices in 10 countries, is seen as a key addition to CAA.

CAA is a leading entertainment, media, and sports enterprise, with global expertise in motion pictures, television, music, sports, theater, digital media, publishing, endorsements, media finance, consumer investing, fashion, podcasting, speaking, games, and philanthropy.

In fact, CAA was the first entertainment talent agency to build a sports business, create an investment bank, launch a venture fund, found technology start-up companies, and establish a business in China, among other industry innovations. A subsidiary of CAA, Entertainment Benefits Group (EBG) is a leader in corporate entertainment and travel, with more than 40,000 clients and 60 million users. Founded in 1975, CAA is headquartered in Los Angeles.

Originally founded in 1975 as International Creative Management, then rebranded as ICM Partners in 2012, ICM has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., and London.

Allen & Company LLC served as financial advisor for CAA, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz as legal advisor.
Lazard served as financial advisor for ICM, with Sheppard Mullin and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP as legal advisors.