Second Round Of Bids For IMG Were Due Thursday; Number Of Prospects Unknown
The second round of bids to buy IMG were due Thursday, according to sources familiar with the company’s sales plan. A total of 10 prospective buyers sat through IMG management presentations in the last month, but it is unclear how many of the interested buyers submitted bids Thursday. Among the groups bidding for the company are KKR, a group led by CVC Capital Partners, and joint bids from Silver Lake and William Morris Endeavor, and from CAA and TPG Capital. A spokesperson at Abernathy MacGregor, a financial PR firm working on the IMG sale, declined to comment. The bids, which come after management presentations and due diligence, will be reviewed by a top exec at Forstmann Little, the trustees of Ted Forstmann’s estate at the firm Akin Gump and the bankers working on the sale at Morgan Stanley and Evercore. They are expected to cut the list of 10 bidders to anywhere from two to six finalists. IMG is expected to attract an all-cash offer of more than $2B. According to sources familiar with its financials 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. Forstmann Little officially put IMG on the market in August. More than 35 potential buyers signed nondisclosure agreements and expressed interest in the company. Bankers collected bids from that group in late September. Blackstone Group ran a similar, auction-style sale for AEG last year and hoped to fetch $8B for the company, but it pulled the company off the market after six months when it failed to find a bidder willing to pay the asking price. Forstmann Little had to do the same with 24 Hour Fitness when it tried to sell it earlier this year. But interest in IMG has been high, and sources said Forstmann Little and the trustees at Akin Gump anticipate closing a deal for the company before the end of the year.