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Mukesh Ambani in race to buy IMG Worldwide

RELIANCE Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani is among the favourites to buy US-based billion-dollar sports,fashion and entertainment management agency IMG Worldwide which has been put on sale by private equity firm Forstmann Little & Co.

Written by Mihir Vasavda | Mumbai |
May 4, 2013 4:12:42 am

RELIANCE Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani is among the favourites to buy US-based billion-dollar sports,fashion and entertainment management agency IMG Worldwide which has been put on sale by private equity firm Forstmann Little & Co.

A Reliance official said the talks were at an “advanced stage but nothing has been finalised yet”. A company spokesperson said,“We do not comment on market speculation.”

IMG is headquartered in New York and its owners expect it to fetch close to $3 billion. It represents stars such as Rafael Nadal,Novak Djokovic,Maria Sharapova,Venus Williams,Lindsey Vonn and Jackie Stewart.

Besides,IMG manages several big-ticket events including the Indian Premier League (IPL),the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

IMG Thursday hired Morgan Stanley and Evercore Partners Inc to find a buyer,with first-round bids likely in July. “It’s an attractive property. There are four to five prospective buyers,including businessmen from Brazil,UK and Qatar. However,Ambani’s association with IMG and his relationship with the current owners make him the favourite,” a source said.

Ambani partnered with IMG to form IMG-Reliance in 2010 and it currently holds commercial rights for football and basketball in India.

“We are not in a position to comment on any issue relating to IMG’s sale as it is being handled by our parent company,Forstmann Little & Co.,” IMG spokesperson Jim Gallagher said.

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