WME's Acquisition Of IMG Could Take Up To Six Months; Sutton To Stay On IMG Board
William Morris Endeavor’s acquisition of IMG will take three to six months to complete. During that time, IMG will continue to operate as an independent company. WME co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell are slated to run the business after the deal is completed. They plan to continue to use the IMG name after taking over the company. The co-CEOs traveled this week to IMG’s offices in Winston-Salem and London to meet with staff and share their vision for the company. WME’s $2.35B agreement to buy IMG did not require any of IMG’s management to stay, but Emanuel and Whitesell have asked IMG Sports & Entertainment President George Pyne and IMG College President Ben Sutton to stay. IMG staff have been asked to continue to conduct business as usual (Tripp Mickle, Staff Writer). In Winston-Salem, Richard Craver reports Sutton "will stay on board" at IMG College, which as "has 160 local employees and about 1,000 companywide." Sutton told employees the local division "landed in a good place" with WME. He said, "College sports is a new industry for WME, and they foresee opportunities to further develop the college business, which is consistent with our strategy of building on our core multi-media rights, licensing, stadium seating and ticketing businesses" (WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 12/20).