Reuters: Forstmann Little Considers IMG Sale, Strategic Alternatives

(Reuters) – Private equity firm Forstmann Little & Co said it was undertaking a strategic evaluation of IMG Worldwide that may include a sale of the sports, fashion and marketing agency.

“No decision has been made regarding a specific course of action for IMG,” Forstmann Little said in a statement. “A definitive timetable has not been set and there can be no assurance that this process will result in a sale of IMG.”

Forstmann Little acquired the company in 2004. In May it began working with Morgan Stanley and Evercore Partners to find a buyer for the agency that represents sports stars such as quarterback Peyton Manning and tennis champion Venus Williams.

George Pyne, president of IMG Sports, said during a sports business conference earlier this year that the company would probably be sold within the next two years. Pyne was not available for comment, and IMG said it would make no further comment “until the process is complete or until further disclosures become appropriate.”

Financial firms Guggenheim Partners, which owns the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball club, and Silver Lake Management, which has a stake in Hollywood talent agency William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, were identified in recent published reports as among those interested in buying some or all of the agency.

The Wasserman Media Group, a Los Angeles-based sports marketing and talent agency, was also reported to be interested in buying parts of IMG.

Wasserman spokeswoman Melissa Zukerman had no comment. Neither Guggenheim Partners nor William Morris could be reached immediately for comment.