Ovitz co. absorbed, Yorn named as co-chairman

HOLLYWOOD — The Firm and Artists Management Group are expected to announce the closing of their previously announced business combination today. Deal will officially combine certain divisions of AMG into the Firm, with the newly combined entity expected to retain the Firm as its moniker.

Last May, after a yearlong hunt for suitors, beleaguered Artists Management Group co-founder Michael Ovitz agreed to sell his interest in the company to the Firm, the 4½-year-old production and management concern owned by Jeff Kwatinetz in a deal that insiders placed at roughly $12 million, plus the assumption of some of AMG’s debt.

Pact called for several AMG businesses and execs to be integrated into the Firm, including AMG’s feature talent management division, its lit division, music and TV management and the Renaissance book group.

Today the Firm is expected to formally announce AMG co-founder Rick Yorn as co-chairman of the board of directors and AMG co-founder Julie Silverman-Yorn as a member of its executive committee.

Renaissance, run jointly by Joel Gotler, Alan Nevins and Irv Schwartz, has not yet finalized its deal with the Firm.

A spokesman for Ovitz confirmed the deal was completed. Excluded from the AMG/Firm combination are Artist Production Group (APG), the motion picture production arm led by Mark Canton; AMG Animation and Family Entertainment; AMG Sports; and AMG’s urban music shingle Violator. All remain separate entities unaffiliated with the Firm.

The Firm, formed in 1997, reps music acts including Korn, and actors including Martin Lawrence, Vin Diesel and Sylvester Stallone.

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