Reliance Industries among prospective buyers of IMG

Reliance Industries among prospective buyers of IMG

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MUMBAI: Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is a possible buyer of IMG Worldwide, a global sports, fashion and media company which has been put on the block by private equity firm Forstmann Little & Co.

Incidentally, Reliance Industries has a 50:50 joint venture with IMG in India. The JV company owns marketing rights for Football and Basketball through deals with All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Basketball Federation of India (BFI). It also owns and manages the Chennai Open tournament besides conducting Golf and Tennis clinics.

IMG works with BCCI for match delivery of the Indian Premier League (IPL). It helped create and implement the optimum commercial model of the IPL.

Indiantelevision.com could not independently verify the market rumours. Efforts to reach Reliance spokesperson proved futile till the time of filing this report.

A Variety report also names CAA private equity firm Guggenheim Partners, Wasserman Media Group and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners as possible acquirers.

Goldman Sachs is believed to be helping Forstmann in selling IMG, which could fetch $2 billion. It is believed to be earning $200 million in 2013.

IMG was founded in 1960 with a handshake between Mark McCormack and golf legend Arnold Palmer. In 2004, Forstmann Little & Co. Founder Ted Forstmann acquired the company for $700 million following McCormack?s death.

According to a Hollywood Reporter report, Frostmann is selling the company because a handful of limited partners in one of its funds have investment agreements that are set to expire in June, necessitating the sale.

The partners include Boeing Co. and General Electric Co. pension funds, who have economic interests in IMG through their investments with Forstmann Little.

However, IMG spokesperson Jim Gallagher has denied that the company has been put on the blocks.

Besides providing a wide range of services in sports, entertainment, fashion and media, IMG also has joint ventures in emerging markets of India, Brazil, China and Turkey like IMG Reliance, IMX, IMG CCTV and IMG Dogus respectively. It has nearly 3,000 employees operating in more than 30 countries around the globe.

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