Events company IMG reported Thursday it had bought a majority stake in Barrett-Jackson, the premier collector car auction and live events company.
IMG, which owns, operates and commercially represents hundreds of events around the world will serve as Barrett-Jackson’s strategic partner.
“We have long been admirers of Barrett-Jackson and have seen first-hand the scale, excitement and 50 years of tradition surrounding their events," aid Ariel Emanuel, CEO of IMG parent company Endeavor.
According to Endeavor's U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings on the purchase, IMG bought a 55% stake in the company for more than $261 million. The deal was broken down to more than $248.7 million in cash and about $12.5 million in stock, equally about 563,935 shares.
Craig Jackson, who as CEO built Barrett-Jackson into one of the preeminant auto auction and event companies in the world are looking to leverage the deal to help grow the business. He and the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale-based team, including President Steve Davis, expect to build on the company's growing success.
“Pairing Barrett-Jackson with the unique power of the Endeavor network is an unparalleled opportunity for our company, immediately opening doors to amplify and accelerate the growth of Barrett-Jackson as a global lifestyle brand,” Jackson said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more excited to have the best partner as we look to optimize our fan experience and create new touchpoints for car enthusiasts around our live events and media offerings.”
Barrett-Jackson’s events and auctions in Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Palm Beach, Florida, and Houston attract many prominent auto collectors, fans and celebrities, as well as millions of TV viewers, and see annual sales of more than 3,600 cars at no reserve.
Its flagship Scottsdale event, founded in 1971, auctions highly sought-after and valuable automobiles and annually welcomes more than 300,000 attendees, making it one of the oldest and largest collector car auction events in the world.
“After more than 25 years with Barrett-Jackson, I can’t wait for this next chapter for our customers," said Davis in a statement. "We’ve built something incredibly special and with the expertise and relationships of IMG, Craig and I look forward to elevating our offering and attracting a whole new generation of fans.”
This investment in the industry comes at a time when enthusiasm around collector cars and live events, demand for auto-related content, and collector car prices are at a record high—and as car collectors are increasingly trending younger.
Moelis & Company LLC served as exclusive financial adviser to Barrett-Jackson. Eisner LLP, DLA Piper LLP and Perkins Coie LLP acted as legal advisers to Barrett-Jackson.
Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal adviser to Endeavor.