WME-IMG to receive US$1b investment from Canadian fund and Singapore’s GIC


SINGAPORE – GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) invest a US$1.1 billion (S$1.5billion) in Beverly Hills-based Mega talent agency WME-IMG.

This cash infusion values the WME-IMG at US$6.3 billion, which is an increase from this agency’s US$5.5 billion valuations in 2016.

Silver Lake Partners, the private equity firm, a global leader in technology investing, which owns a significant amount of stake in WME-IMG, announced this deal on Tuesday in a letter to its investors. WME-IMG and Silver Lake arranged this deal and it should close in mid-August. The company is explaining the deal in a joint press release, saying that CPPIB and GIC join current investors Silver Lake, Softbank, and Fidelity as WME-IMG strategic partners.

Co-CEOs Ariel Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell said in a joint statement that “We’re thrilled to welcome CPPIB and GIC – two leading global investors – to the WME IMG family as our newest strategic partners,”.

In the letter, Silver Lake mentioned that this latest cash infusion will give WME-IMG a capacity to buy out some minority partners in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and it will allow some of WME-IMG’s senior management and investors to access the cash and use it to enable further acquisitions.

In recent years WME-IMG is trying to diversify and grow from a Hollywood talent agency into fashion, entertainment and sports and marketing globally. The company has been expanding very rapidly in the world of live sports activities as well. So on a long run, GIC believes on WME-IMG’s Strategies and new acquisitions to achieve the benefits from the current trend of consumers looking for quality content.

“GIC is committed to supporting WME-IMG’s continuing innovation, industry leadership and international expansion,” as stated by Eric Wilmes, managing director of private equity at GIC.