CAA Eliminated From IMG Bidding, With Sources Pointing To Sports Biz Rivalry
CAA and its partner TPG "did not make the cut for the second round of bidding" for IMG, according to Cynthia Littleton of VARIETY. Sources said that IMG's "rivalry in the sports representation and marketing business with CAA may have played a part in the latter getting axed from the process." CAA and IMG have had a "testy relationship for the past decade after a clutch of top IMG reps migrated with key clients to the CAA fold, as that agency aggressively built up its sports biz under the direction" of President Richard Lovett. IMG sources, some of whom "may seek to stay with the company after a sale, were cautious about giving the CAA-TPG team a close look at the books because they are direct competitors in many arenas." Because of its "growing sports operations, CAA was seen as the prime agency contender for IMG." Sources said that CAA's seven managing partners were "unified in their decision to pursue IMG with TPG, but the level of CAA's interest was exaggerated and that the partners are confident they can continue to build operations on their own." Sources said that the bidding for IMG was between $2.2-2.7B, with CAA's bid "on the low end of that scale" (VARIETY.com, 11/12).