Brunswick Group is working the audacious $2.3B takeover of the giant IMG sports and talent agency, a transaction that will “significantly alter the balance of power in Hollywood’s business landscape,” according to the front page of the Dec. 18 New York Times.
The financial PR firm represents $20B investment firm Silver Lake, which has partnered with its 31 percent-owned William Morris Endeavor Entertainment in the takeover move.
The NYT profiled WMEE Co-CEO Ariel Emanuel as an agent who has ‘climbed — brashly, ruthlessly — into Hollywood’s power center with one position in mind: king.”
With the demise of the mogul era, noted the Times, Hollywood has watched the rise of Emanuel with both fear and amusement.
“He may have a chainsaw mouth that cuts people down to size, but at least he keeps things interesting,” it reported.
Emanuel’s brother Rahm is the mayor of Chicago, former Congressman, President Clinton’s hatchetman and President Obama’s ex-chief of staff. Another brother, Ezekiel, is a bioethicist.
A combined WMME/IMG would surpass Creative Artists Agency as the No. 1 agent and have Emanuel and fellow WMEE co-CEO Patrick Whitesell at the helm.
WMEE owns an investment stake in New York creative ad agency Droga5, which serves Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Prudential and Mondelez International.