IMG, whose clients include Tiger Woods (reputedly earning $100 million per year), Vijah Singh, Retief Goosen, Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Padraig Harrington and The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, and Forstmann Little & Co., a New York private investment firm, have signed a definitive agreement for Forstmann Little funds to acquire IMG. The Company is being acquired from trusts established by IMG’s founder, the late Mark McCormack, and from the family of IMG’s vice chairman, Arthur J. Lafave Jr.
After the acquisition, senior management of IMG will have an equity ownership in the Company. In addition, the McCormack family trust intends to retain a continuing interest in IMG. Forstmann Little will finance the acquisition entirely with its own capital. The purchase price was not disclosed but reports put the value of the deal at $700 million to $750 million,
The deal comes after a three-month bidding war for the company, reported by Golf Business News in July http://www.golfbusinessnews.com/news/news.asp?storyid=1922.
Robert D. Kain and Alastair J. Johnston, who will continue to serve as Co-Presidents and Co-Chief Executive Officers of IMG, said, “With the support and expertise of Forstmann Little and the talent of our employees, the Company will continue its organic growth and will now also be in a position to take advantage of acquisition opportunities. We were privileged to have worked with Mark McCormack, and we are grateful for the support that his family has shown us since his death. The sale of the Company to Forstmann Little is a continuation of the McCormack legacy. We now have the ideal partner to help the firm accelerate its growth and realize its full potential. With nearly $1 billion in annual sales, IMG today is a substantial worldwide business that includes a large television distribution and production operation, along with our better-known representation and event management divisions. Our global scale provides many avenues for additional growth, and with Forstmann Little’s help, we plan to leverage this remarkable existing platform to significantly grow the business while maintaining continuity and stability of client relationships.”
Among the many businesses within the IMG group are European Golf Design, a joint venture with the European Tour, and the international network of golf schools that operate under the title of David Leadbetter Golf Academy. IMG is also a driving force behind the worldwide development programme of the TopGolf concept.