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Creative Artists Agency set to acquire ICM Partners, cutting ‘big four’ to three

Talent agency Creative Arts Agency (CAA) is set to acquire ICM Partners (ICM) in a deal that has sent shockwaves through Hollywood.

Chris Silbermann

According to the LA-based companies, the deal will “create deeper, broader and more competitive opportunities for clients in the ever-evolving entertainment, media and sports landscapes.”

While financial details of the transaction have not been released, it is expected to close before the end of the year. The deal must also receive regulatory approval.

With the acquisition – which marks the biggest M&A manoeuvre in the talent agency space since William Morris Agency and Endeavor merged in 2009 to form WME – the so-called “big four” talent agencies will be reduced to three as ICM’s global roster of artists from film, TV, music, theatre, podcasting and more move under the CAA umbrella.

“The strategic combination of CAA and ICM bolsters our collective resources, expertise and relationships to deliver even more opportunities for our world-class clients to build their careers and their brands across multiple disciplines and platforms in an evolving marketplace,” said CAA’s Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane and Richard Lovett in a joint statement.

“Our strong financial position enables us to continue to expand and diversify our businesses, with service and representation remaining central to what we do and who we are.”

Chris Silbermann, CEO of ICM Partners, added: “Together, we will build upon our accomplishments and entrepreneurial spirit, and continue to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to the best interests of our clients, as well as empowering new, diverse voices within the industry.”

CAA confirmed that Silbermann will join CAA’s shareholder board. Other details about the merged company’s executive structure have not been confirmed.

The pandemic has hit agencies hard over the past 18 months, with CAA laying off around 90 agents and furloughing a further 275 employees in other roles in July 2020. Other agencies including Paradigm and Endeavor also made cuts as film sets shuttered across the world.

Outside of LA, CAA has offices all over the world including New York, Nashville, London, Beijing, Shanghai, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, Munich, Orlando, Stockholm and Toronto. Meanwhile, ICM, which was known as International Creative Management until 2012 when it rebranded as ICM Partners, has offices in LA, New York, Washington DC and London, in addition to strategic partnerships in Europe and Asia.


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