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SBD/November 22, 2013/Finance
KKR Withdraws From IMG Bidding Process, Three Suitors Remain
Published November 22, 2013
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NEXT STEPS: The IMG sales process is expected to continue in the coming days with individual management presentations led by the heads of various business units overseeing media, college, fashion, golf and tennis. Final and binding bids are expected to be due in mid-December. The winning bid will be selected by top execs at Forstmann Little, which bought IMG in 2004 for $750M; the trustees of Ted Forstmann's estate at the law firm Akin Gump; and the bankers working on the sale at Morgan Stanley and Evercore. IMG is expected to attract an all-cash offer of more than $2B, and reportedly has received an offer of $2.7B. The company's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased from $146M in '11 to $175M last year, and are projected to exceed $200M this year, according to sources familiar with its financials. WME, which has former ESPN exec Mark Shapiro working with it, and CVC, which has former ESPN Chair and NFL Network CEO Steve Bornstein working with it, have long been considered the most interested bidders and most likely buyers of IMG. Both did extensive research into the company before it was even put on the market in August. More than 35 potential buyers signed non-disclosure agreements and expressed interest in the company. Bankers collected bids from that group in late September. The banks narrowed the list to 10 potential buyers in October. It cut the list to four earlier this month.