Irving & Howard Together Again?

According to sources, Irving Azoff and Howard Kaufman, former partners in Front Line Management, are expected to merge their respective companies and resurrect the old moniker.

Reportedly financed by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, the company will combine azoffmusic management and HK Management. The former includes clients Eagles, Christina Aguilera, Velvet Revolver, and Van Halen; HK has Aerosmith, Jimmy Buffett, Chris Isaak, and Stevie Nicks, among others.

Azoff and Kaufman ran Front Line Management from 1974 to the early ’80s until Azoff was named prexy of MCA records.

Sources told The New York Times the new company will include artist-related services such as distribution, merchandising and ticketing in addition to traditional management operations. The terms of the Lee agreement were not disclosed, and the managers are reportedly looking to expand their artist reps.

Last fall, Thomas H. Lee Partners purchased a minority interest in Jeff Kwatinetz’s The Firm. Lee’s interest in three powerful management firms fuels speculation about further consolidation.

A spokesperson for Azoff told Pollstar none of the representatives were commenting on the merger.