WME|IMG Gets A New Investor

Telecom and tech firm SoftBank Group has made a $250 million investment in WME IMG joining strategic investor Silver Lake in partnership with the talent agency. 

WME IMG said in a March 23 statement that it expects to use the capital to “advance its global growth strategy through new investments, acquisitions and joint ventures.”

In addition to repping music, film, TV and sports stars, the company also represents events such as professional golf and tennis tournaments and owns or manages more than 30 fashion events.

“We’re thrilled to welcome industry leader SoftBank to WME IMG,” co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell said. “SoftBank brings a unique industry perspective and a commitment to help us deliver valuable new opportunities to our clients and partners in markets around the world.”

The Japanese investor in 2014 made a similar investment in Legendary Entertainment, and is said to have been looking at other entertainment assets recently, including DreamWorks Animation, according to Variety.

With the new cash infusion, the partnership values WME IMG, including its content and event production operations, at about $5.5 billion, Variety reports, adding that with the investment, SoftBank acquires about 8 percent of the equity in the agency.