CAA closes deal to scoop up ICM
The Future. CAA’s landmark acquisition of ICM has passed government scrutiny and is officially a done deal — consolidating Hollywood’s Big 4 talent agencies into the Big 3. Like CAA’s rival, Endeavor, did last April, CAA may feel it finally has the scale to go public… potentially spinning out from its current majority owner TPG.
And then there were three…
Almost nine months after it was announced — thanks to a lengthy review by the DOJ over antitrust concerns — CAA has finally closed the deal to acquire rival ICM.
- THR reports that the deal is valued at $750 million, giving the combined agency a valuation of $5 billion.
- It brings top showrunners like Shonda Rhimes (Bridgerton), Vince Gilligan (Better Call Saul), and Bill Lawrence (Ted Lasso), as well as stars like Michael Keaton, Cillian Murphy, and Uma Thurman into the fold.
- It also cements CAA as a force in new areas of representation like below-the-line film and TV production, book publishing, and soccer.
Per the deal, 425 of ICM’s agents and staffers (around 80% of the company) will join CAA, while 105 will be eliminated — a process that is already happening.
CAA’s takeover of ICM is just another episode in the consolidation of the entertainment industry’s upper echelons, as scale becomes seemingly the only way to compete. Endeavor, the umbrella company of WME, went public last year after a raft of growth acquisitions. And this month, UTA purchased renowned British agency Curtis Brown Group. Agency insiders have reasoned that the scale is the only way to take on ballooning entertainment conglomerates such as Warner Bros. Discovery, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Disney.
That’s not to say there’s no room for boutique firms to compete by offering more targeted, niche services. Kicked off by the WGA’s battle with agencies, a lot of agents decamped to start management firms such as Range Media Partners, M88, and 2 AM. Expect a lot of now-former ICM agents to follow suit… as many have already done.