Wasserman Media Group has reportedly entered into a period of exclusive discussions to buy Lagardère Sport and Entertainment.
Wasserman Media Group represents sports stars from the NBA’s Russell Westbrook to Megan Rapinoe of the US women’s football team, whereas Lagardère is in the business of sports television rights syndication, sports events and athlete representation with exclusive deals with the likes of tennis player Caroline Wozniacki and golfer Phil Mickelson.
Business newspaper Financial Times has reported that Lagardère’s sports division has been under pressure after losing out on a key contract that sustained the business over recent years and was marked for a sale by the company in November. Revenues for Lagardère’s sports division were €438m in 2018, down 4.1 per cent on a like-for like basis compared with a year earlier.
Lagardère has released a statement confirming that it is in the process of “evaluating the strategic options for the sale of all or part of Lagardère Sports”.
It added: ‘During this process, Lagardère may have to grant short-term exclusivity periods to potential buyers in order for them to address specific issues or due diligence matters. At this stage of the process, nothing is precise enough to be disclosed. Should it be the case, Lagardère would duly inform the market.
If realised, the deal would allow Los Angeles-based Wasserman to build out its presence globally in a series of complementary categories.
Founded and led by Casey Wasserman, the grandson of Hollywood mogul Lew Wasserman, the agency competes with rivals such as Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor and TPG-backed CAA — all of whom have been searching for ways to expand internationally.
The deal, expected to be valued between $ 250 million and $ 300 million, might not necessarily be reached.