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Volume 24 No. 116


Shamrock Capital Advisors, an L.A.-based private equity firm that owns the majority of Learfield, is looking to flip the college sports media and marketing agency. Shamrock acquired close to 80% of Learfield for $80M in December '11 and has begun the process of selling it after nearly 19 months of ownership, according to industry sources. A N.Y. Post story this week indicated that Learfield is looking to sell, but it is actually Shamrock that is looking to sell its ownership of the college sports agency. A global investment bank, Moelis & Co., which has worked with Shamrock in the past, is consulting on the sale, which has been in the works for close to two months, sources said. Additionally, Shamrock’s holdings with sports interests include Denver-based T3 Media, formerly Thought Equity Motion, and the Harlem Globetrotters. Learfield, with offices in Jefferson City, Mo., and Dallas, owns the multimedia rights to more than 50 schools and conferences. Its blue-chip schools include Alabama, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Wisconsin. Before Learfield sold to Shamrock, it had numerous conversations with IMG College about combining forces, but the two sides never came to terms. Other large media companies like Fox were approached during Learfield’s last sale, but did not show an interest at the time. While IMG College and Learfield, the two dominant forces in collegiate marketing, have a joint venture in ticketing, it is uncertain whether IMG would currently be a legitimate suitor. IMG, which owns the rights to more than 80 schools and multiple ancillary college businesses, is for sale as well.