Bryan Lourd and Chris Silbermann Talk About The Deal – The Hollywood Reporter

The blockbuster merger settlement between CAA and ICM was signed at 8:17 a.m. PST, slightly greater than an hour earlier than the information ricocheted throughout the leisure enterprise. A supply says that the deal was within the works for “weeks and months” with solely a a small circle of executives concerned.

“I feel we’re shocked that we have been capable of hold it quiet, as a result of many individuals on each side have been engaged on this for some time,” CAA co-chairman Bryan Lourd advised The Hollywood Reporter Monday afternoon. “We take it as an incredible sign and signal of the management of each firms, and the way they conduct themselves.”

In fact, there will likely be adjustments. Anytime there’s a merger of this scale, that dreaded company time period “synergy” arises. When two corporations in the identical enterprise consolidate, layoffs often comply with. Likewise, whereas CAA and ICM are primarily throughout the road from one another in Century Metropolis, CAA president Richard Lovett says that the mixed firms “are all going to be in a single location collectively as quickly as time permits for that to be.”

“We’re simply at first of this course of,” ICM CEO Chris Silbermann says, when requested about potential layoffs.

“Each of these topics will occur within the weeks and months to come back,” Lourd added, noting that the deal has solely been signed a number of hours earlier.

The impetus for the merger, per Lourd, was easy: “We, with Chris, imagine within the illustration enterprise. It’s on the heart of every thing that we’ve each achieved over the 30 years of our careers. What Chris and Ted and the group constructed over at ICM is among the finest illustration firms which have ever existed.”

“All of us have a look at the world and we put our shoppers first once we signify them, that is among the by traces, one of many connections we’ve at all times had by the years,” Silbermann provides. “We at all times combat for our shoppers and respect our shoppers. And that’s not going to vary. What this does is deliver extra assets to bear for our shoppers, extra collaboration, higher concepts, and a greater platform.”

Lourd additionally sought to distance CAA from rival WME, with its mum or dad firm Endeavor leaning into different companies like UFC, Skilled Bull Driving, in addition to areas like know-how and sports activities betting (additionally on Monday Endeavor introduced a $1.2 billion buy of the sports activities betting firm OpenBet).

CAA, against this, continues to emphasise its concentrate on illustration.

“We expect that the individuals which can be really being attentive to what’s going on on this planet will perceive that this can be a doubling down on the illustration enterprise, and dedication to the necessity for it, on this world that we’re in each in, when it comes to the market, and know-how,” Lourd provides.

And whereas TV and movie stands out as the conventional stomping grounds of the companies, sports activities have change into a vital a part of the illustration enterprise. A number of sources say that ICM’s sports activities prowess, most notably its Stellar Sports activities unit in London, have been vital to the deal (as have been its New York workplace and its enterprise). And corporations like CAA have gotten bridges to potential companions, not simply in leisure however in finance and elsewhere, as stars change into manufacturers and entrepreneurs themselves.

“We’re very optimistic about this second with regard to what’s doable for artists and for athletes, with regard to their work, and tips on how to construct a relationship with the distribution companions and the advertising and marketing companions and the financing companions and what they do, in a method that none of us have actually ever seen, Lourd says.

Lourd says that the ICM acquisition will not be a part of a longer-term plan to take CAA public (“this will not be a transfer to get to that. It doesn’t rule it out, however it’s not a part of the endgame”), Lovett provides that “we have been in conversations with [CAA majority owner] TPG all through” the method. 

“They love Chris. So this was super-easy in that method,” Lourd provides. “We’ve achieved proper by them, it has gone properly, they’ve been super-useful in pondering by this, however once we stated it was Chris and ICM, it was the best ‘Yes’ we’ve ever gotten.”

TPG is reportedly within the strategy of taking itself public by an IPO, and buyers in a public TPG would obtain publicity to CAA, along with the non-public fairness agency’s different investments.

They respect our strategic management, and the selections we make in main the company, and so they have been supportive all through,” Lovett says. “They’ve been steadfast companions for a few years, and plan to proceed to be so.”

Nonetheless, questions stay. Regulators on the Federal Commerce Fee and Division of Justice have been scrutinizing all method of offers in current months, and a high-profile merger within the already considerably consolidated company enterprise may draw federal consideration.

“We clearly have gotten nice recommendation from our advisors at [law firm] Wachtell Lipton and [investment bank] Allen & Co., and everybody may be very assured about that a part of this,” Lourd says. “We don’t know if they are going to wish to speak to us or not, within the scheme of issues this isn’t a serious deal like among the different offers we’re all watching and studying, however we’re very assured.”

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