Beverly Hills talent agency WME IMG has received a $250 million investment from Japanese finance and telecom giant SoftBank.
The Japanese conglomerate will receive about 8 percent equity in the agency, which represents stars like Ben Affleck and Serena Williams and was merged together from William Morris Endeavor and IMG Worldwide in 2013.
The deal values WME IMG, its content, and event production operations at approximately $5.5 billion, according to the Financial Times, which first reported the investment Wednesday.
“SoftBank brings a unique industry perspective and a commitment to help us deliver valuable new opportunities to our clients and partners in markets around the world,” said Ariel Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, WME IMG co-chief executives, in a joint statement.
The investment will be applied to accelerating the company’s growth through new investments, acquisitions and joint ventures, according to a Variety report on Wednesday. Menlo Park investment firm Silver Lake, an equity investor in the talent agency since 2012, brought the two companies together for the prospective deal late last year.
The Japanese firm’s earlier Hollywood dealings include a $250 investment in Burbank-based Legendary Entertainment in 2014, to bring more content to its mobile and digital networks. It reportedly sold its stake in Legendary as part of the $3.5 billion Dalian Wanda Group purchase in January.