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WME Sells Major Stake To Private Equity Firm

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME) has sold a major stake of the firm to a private equity investor, Silver Lake.

While the official announcement does not go into specifics on the value of the deal, Deadline Hollywood's Nikki Finke reports that Silver Lake has acquired a 31% non-controlling stake in the agency.

Silver Lake is a private equity firm launched in 1999 that focuses on leveraged buyouts and capital investments in technology-related companies with about $14 billion currently under management. Silver Lake's portfolios includes Groupon, Skype, and online games maker Zynga.

As per usual in such private equity deals, Silver Lake managing partner Egon Durban will join WME's Executive Committee along with the company's Co-CEOs and will also help create a new Technology Advisory Council that will identify technology related growth opportunities for WME's clients.

WME's day to day operations will continue to be run by its current leadership team and Management Board. Ariel Emanuel, Patrick Whitesell and the entire management team have all renewed long-term contracts with WME.

"Our partnership with Silver Lake will accelerate WME's transformation into a technologically innovative entertainment and media company and ensure we can best support our clients across all digital media channels. This investment will give WME access to Silver Lake's expertise, resources and relationships across the global technology industry, ensuring our clients and the content they create are strategically positioned for the future as the convergence of technology, entertainment and media accelerates," said WME's management in a statement. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers