ICM Completes Financial Deals

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — ICM completed its recapitalization deal with Connecticut-based investor Suhail Rizvi, as previously reported, but chairman and CEO Jeff Berg also completed a surprising deal with Merrill Lynch’s Asset Based Finance Group.

The combined investments total well over $100 million in committed capital, and a line on continuing capital if needed.

The cash injection, which was set up by Allen and Co., will prompt an immediate overhaul of the agency’s board of directors as well as its roster of shareholders.

Many key agents are expected to redeem their shares and reinvest them in the newly reconfigured company. Other senior members, including longtime cornerstones Sam Cohn and Marvin Josephson, are expected to cash out and likely retire, according to Variety.

Cohn was a major dealmaker for the agency, putting together packages that included Mike Nichols, Paul Newman and other stars of the old Creative Management Associates, the predecessor to ICM.

Josephson once ran the company and was a major player in acquiring talent agencies.

Rizvi will leave day-to-day management to Berg, but he will take a seat on the newly reconstituted board. It was unclear if his partner, Ben Kohn, or Michael Blum, head of Merrill Lynch’s Global Asset Based Finance Group, would join the board.

Berg, the largest shareholder in the agency, has agreed to a long-term extension of his contract and is doubling down as he reinvests his shares into the company. A key component of the agency will be a concentration on keeping its rising dealmakers in the fold by making them equity players.

“This recapitalization demonstrates our commitment to the continued growth of our agency, both in the domestic and overseas marketplace,” Berg said in a statement, according to Variety. “This investment will allow us to accelerate the execution of our plan and continue to deliver the value we promise our clients – bring them the most innovative opportunities in the industry. At the same time, ICM will remain a closely held firm backed by outstanding private and institutional capital.”

Rizvi said in the statement: “We believe that ICM is now well placed to take advantage of a number of valuable opportunities within the industry. We are pleased that we are able to participate in helping Jeff and the agency realize its full market potential and deliver a broader, more comprehensive offer to its clients. All the pieces are now in place for ICM to broaden its platform in a (market) going through inevitable change.” –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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