Private equity firm Forstmann Little & Co. has "decided to put its sports and modeling talent agency IMG up for sale and is in the process of picking an investment bank to lead the effort,” according to sources cited by Damouni & Kim of REUTERS. Sources said that the decision to shop IMG is “being driven by the trustee that runs the estate of Teddy Forstmann.” Sources added that IMG, which Forstmann bought for $750M in '04, "could now fetch more than" $2B in a sale. The sources added that several investment banks “including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, The Raine Group, Barclays, Perella Weinberg Partners and LionTree Advisors LLC are competing to win a mandate to run the auction,” and a bank is “expected to be selected in March.” The sources said that the sale is “expected to draw interest from big entertainment players ranging from Creative Artists Agency and William Morris to French media group Lagardere,” as well as “large private equity firms and billionaires” (REUTERS, 2/20).
Chinese fashion sportswear company Xtep Int'l Holdings announced it closed nearly 100 shops in '12, adding to a total of more than 3,000 store closures in the sporting goods industry last year, according to WANT CHINA TIMES. Xtep was the last among China's six leading sports brands "to take steps to close stores, following similar moves by its counterparts such as Li-Ning, Peak Sport and ANTA Sports." Xtep CFO Terry Ho said that the company plans to "shut down an additional 100 to 200 stores this year" (WANT CHINA TIMES, 2/21).