Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has officially completed its acquisition of ICM Partners for a deal valued at $750 million, according to a report from Variety. The new partnership will see 3,200 total employees operating across 25 countries worldwide.
“Today marks a new chapter in the history of our company, positioning us better than ever to deliver extraordinary opportunities for many of the world’s preeminent artists, athletes, thought leaders, brands, and organizations in entertainment, sports, and culture,” CAA’s Co-Chairmen, Kevin Huvane, Bryan Lourd and Richard Lovett, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to welcome our new ICM colleagues to CAA, and look forward to combining their expertise, relationships, and resources with those of our agents and executives around the world. Our diverse range of clients who entertain and inspire large global audiences have never been in more demand, nor have their opportunities been greater. With today’s addition of our new colleagues, the scope of possibilities for helping clients achieve their goals is limitless.”
The acquisition comes after a 10-month delay seeking regulatory approval, and becomes the largest acquisition of its kind since WMA and Endeavor merged in 2009. CAA represents major artists such as Harry Styles, A$AP Rocky, AC/DC, Ariana Grande, Damon Albarn, Dua Lipa and more. ICM’s roster boasts Chaka Khan, Nicki Minaj, Buddy Guy, D’Angelo, J. Cole, Jerry Seinfeld, Kamasi Washington, Khalid, Lisa Loeb, Migos and more.
“Combining with the best-in-class agency to build an even greater representation company for our clients and our colleagues is the core strategic reason for this move,” ICM’s Chris Silbermann and Ted Chervin said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more enthusiastic about our future together, and are energized by the sophisticated, forward-thinking representation we offer clients. This is the ideal next step for our companies.”
The merger combining two of the “Big Four” full-service talent agencies – which included CAA, ICM, WME and UTA – was first announced on Sept. 27, 2021. ICM formed in 1975 following the merger of Creative Management Associates and International Famous Agency. CAA was formed that same year by a group of agents who previously worked at William Morris Agency (now William Morris Endeavor, or WME).
“I was involved in the [merger that created] ICM,” Wayne Forte of Entourage Talent Associates told Pollstar shortly after the news of the ICM acquisition was first made public in late September. “I lived through it. I saw what happened there. And, you know, everybody was like, ‘Oh my God, this is going to be the beginning of the end,’ or whatever. But you know what came out of that? CAA.”
During that interview Forte predicted that smaller talent agencies will have the opportunity to “beef up” following the merger.
Variety reports that 105 ICM employees are expected to be laid off now that CAA’s acquisition is complete.
Back in March 2020, ICM had acquired the London-based music agency, Primary Talent International, with the move helping build up ICM’s EDM Department.
ICM Partners CEO Chris Silbermann is joining CAA’s shareholder board, and the acquisition brings CAA a global roster of artists in all sectors of the entertainment industry, including film, television, music, comedy, theater, games, politics, and podcasting. CAA books more than 30,000 music and comedy shows each year, and the touring department also helps clients acquire brand partnerships, marketing, private events and more.