Hollywood talent powerhouse Creative Artists Agency has closed a deal to acquire rival agency ICM Partners for $750 million, both companies announced Tuesday.
The major deal, which was first announced in September, had been delayed for 10 months as CAA was seeking regulatory approval in the form of an antitrust review, according to The Wrap. As the acquisition came amid other major entertainment mergers and acquisitions, it received heightened scrutiny from the Department of Justice.
The merger combines ICM clients like Shonda Rhimes, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Chris Rock and Vince Gilligan along with the agency’s strong literary and sports divisions, with CAA’s list of top talent that includes Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Scarlett Johansson and Henry Golding, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
CAA heads Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane and Richard Lovett will remain at the helm of the new company while ICM chairman Chris Silbermann will join CAA’s shareholder board.
The merger is the largest talent agency transaction since WME acquired IMG in 2014 and Endeavor combined with the William Morris Agency in 2009, which was renamed WME. This week’s merger pares down competition among the now-former Big Four agencies—CAA, ICM, WME and UTA—which is now reduced to the Big Three.
The merger will bring 105 layoffs, reports Variety. It’s anticipated that 425 employees will move from ICM to CAA, resulting in a combined total of approximately 3,200 employees in 25 countries at the much larger CAA. The company will move to a larger new headquarters in Century City by 2026.
“Today marks a new chapter in the history of our company, positioning us better than ever to deliver extraordinary opportunities for many of the world’s preeminent artists, athletes, thought leaders, brands, and organizations in entertainment, sports, and culture,” said Huvane, Lourd and Lovett in a statement, according to The Wrap.
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