SBD/December 16, 2013/Finance

IMG Sales Process Enters Final Stage, But Could Lackluster Bids Throw Off Bidding?

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The three final bidders for IMG submitted binding offers for the company on Friday, pushing the company's sales process into its final stage. Sources familiar with the process said Forstmann Little trustees and bankers with Evercore and Morgan Stanley are evaluating offers from three groups: CVC Capital and former News Corp. President & COO Peter Chernin's investment company; Silver Lake Capital and William Morris Endeavor; and Carlyle Group and ICM. The value of the offers could not be confirmed and it is unclear how soon a buyer will be chosen. IMG is expected to attract an all-cash offer of more than $2B. Several outlets, including the N.Y. Times, reported on Friday that Silver Lake and WME were expected to submit the highest bid (Tripp Mickle, Staff Writer). In N.Y., Claire Atkinson reports IMG "received lackluster final bids ... because of weakness in college sports." Sources said that the division, run by IMG Sports & Entertainment President George Pyne, "missed a key profit target" by $40M, or nearly 50% of its '13 forecast. A haul of $90M in EBITDA was "expected, mostly through the sales of college-related merchandise and advertising efforts, such as sponsorships." But sources said that they booked $70M, and added that the shortage increased by $20M "because of an accounting adjustment" (N.Y. POST, 12/16).
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