(Releads to focus on Bornstein and IMG)
By Ronald Grover and Lisa Richwine
LOS ANGELES Nov 15 Steve Bornstein, the
National Football League's top media executive and a one-time
ESPN chairman, may be a top candidate to be chairman of the
powerful sports agency IMG if a group he is advising succeeds in
buying it, according to two people with knowledge of the bids.
Bornstein is advising a group, headed by British money
management firm CVC Capital Partners, in its bidding for the
sports, fashion and marketing agency, the sources said.
IMG, set up by American sports agent Mark McCormack in 1960,
is up for sale after the death in 2011 of owner Teddy Forstmann,
who paid $750 million for the business in 2004. IMG, whose
clients include top tennis player Novak Djokovic and supermodel
Gisele Bundchen, could fetch more than $2 billion in a sale,
sources have told Reuters.
Bornstein, who is the president and CEO of the pro football
league's NFL Network cable channel and negotiates the league's
multi-billion dollar TV deals, confirmed to Reuters in an
interview in October that he intended to leave the football
league in the spring but would not say what he intended to do
An NFL spokesman, Alex Riethmiller, said Bornstein declined
to comment for this article.
CVC is one of four bidder groups who advanced to the second
round of bidding earlier this month, according to people
familiar with the matter. CVC, which also owns the Formula One
car racing championship, is allied with former News Corp
president Peter Chernin, one person said.
Representatives for CVC and Chernin had no comment.
The other bidders include the William Morris Endeavor
Entertainment talent agency, joined by private equity fund
Silver Lake; private equity firm KKR teamed with New Mountain
Capital LLC; and private equity firm Carlyle Group.
Bornstein joined ESPN in 1980, rising through the sports
channel's ranks to become its youngest president and CEO, at age
38 in 1990. He later become ESPN chairman and was also president
(Additional reporting Gregory Roumeliotis, SoYoung Kim, and
Nicola Leske; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer and Andrew Hay)