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$700M Winning Bidder
N.Y.-based Forstmann Little & Co. Senior Founding Partner Ted Forstmann is expected to announce as early as this week that he will buy IMG in a deal worth more than $700M, according to a source of SportsBusiness Journal’s Mullen & Kaplan. An IMG management group led by co-CEOs Bob Kain and Alastair Johnston tried to buy the company, but that bid was swamped by much higher offers from buyout firms, including Forstmann’s. IMG first announced in June that it was seeking financial partners to provide liquidity to the agency’s owners. Late IMG Founder Mark McCormack left the company to his wife, Betsy Nagelsen McCormack, and his children when he died in May, 2003 (THE DAILY). In Cleveland, Corwin Thomas reports that IMG execs were in N.Y. Tuesday “reportedly to complete the deal before announcing it to employees in Cleveland.” An employee meeting is “set for either today or Thursday” at IMG headquarters. One source said, “The building is buzzing.” Forstmann Little was “said to have an advantage over other bidders” such as Blackstone Group and Evercore Partners because Forstmann “knows Nagelsen and has a business relationship” with IMG client Vijay Singh (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 9/29).