Creative Artists Agency announced Monday that it is buying its smaller rival ICM Partners for an undisclosed amount, the biggest consolidation in the industry in more than a decade and which could have significant ripple effects in the worlds of the world. entertainment and sport.
The acquisition adds muscle to already heavy creative artists at a time when talent reps are battling with studios over compensation in the streaming age. If the studios no longer try to maximize the box office for each film but rather move to a hybrid model where success is judged in part by ticket sales and in part by the number of streaming subscriptions sold, than does that mean for the way celebs get paid – and where do they make their movies?
CAA has a client list that includes Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Zendaya, Reese Witherspoon and Scarlett Johansson, while ICM counts Shonda Rhimes, Samuel L. Jackson and Pete Davidson among its renowned names. The deal marks the biggest consolidation in the agency world since the William Morris agency merged with Endeavor in 2009 and reflects a new commitment to the representation industry after talent agencies lost their dispute with the Writers Guild of America on packaging deals earlier this year.
The CAA is also the top sports agency, representing nearly 1,000 high performance athletes, including Paul George, Drew Brees and Chris Paul. ICM has strengthened its sporting activity over the past year with the purchase of Select Sports Group, which represents National Football League figures such as Kyler Murray and Colin Kaepernick; and the Stellar Group, which manages some 800 football clients.
ICM’s purchase agreement, according to CAA, “will result in broader and more inclusive representation” for their clients.
“Our strong financial position allows us to continue to grow and diversify our business, with service and representation remaining at the heart of what we do and who we are,” said CAA Senior Executives Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane and Richard Lovett in a press release.
ICM Partners chief executive Chris Silbermann will join CAA’s board at the end of the deal, which agencies have said they expect before the end of the year.