Ari Emanuel’s mega entertainment company Endeavor will not being buying up Unite Talent Agency (UTA) after all. There had been rumors to that effect, but Emanuel put them to bend in comments that he made to Kara Swisher at the Code Conference in Beverly Hills. Apparently he does not need UTA since he just gobbled up ICM.
In the last few days Emanuel’s Creative Artists Agency confirmed that it is acquiring ICM Partners, in what is being described as one of the largest deals of its kind ever made. It has plenty of cash on hand for such acquisitions after Endeavor’s recent $10 billion IPO.
ICM Partners is a talent and literary agency with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C. and London. ICM Partners represents clients in the fields of motion pictures, television, music, publishing, live performance, branded entertainment and new media
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When Emanuel was asked by Swisher whether or not Endeavor was still interested in UTA after the ICM deal, the Endeavor CEO said simply, “No, we don’t need it.”
“I think what they bought basically was five incredible TV writers. They bought a very good book business and a very good soccer business out of Europe,” said Emanuel on the ICM acquisition.
“You have so much business with that company that it gives you leverage,” Emanuel said. “As opposed to not having leverage and therefore suing. We negotiate deals for our clients and make them a lot of money. Certain people decide they just want to sue people. I’m not sure that’s the job that they were hired for.”
Emanuel also spoke about how Endeavor has helped its celebrity clients like the movie star Dwayne Johnson. Johnson Had acquired the XFL football league, which went into bankruptcy after its second attempt to get off the ground failed when its first season was cut short due to the Covid shutdowns.
Endeavor helped Johnson finance his XFK investment. The league says that it still plans on returning to play at some point after the Coronavirus crisis ends.
But Ari Emanuel is also looking to ownership options saying, “We want to be not only in the representation business but in the ownership business. We don’t stand still.”
Emanuel did not apologize for getting paid a lot of money in benefits and bonuses, even when his business was not doing so well. “Last time I checked, I did found the company. I did invest in the business. I didn’t take a salary,” he said. “We went through very tough times. I financed the company. I paid people very well. It is what it is.”