Sports and entertainment joint venture to bow with Batista

Looking to further expand IMG beyond the tenpercentery business, topper Teddy Forstmann is creating a joint venture with Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista to launch a sports and entertainment businesses in Brazil.

The venture is being created as the country with the largest economy in South America prepares to host the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics and Paralympics in 2016.

The financial details of the 50/50 partnership were not disclosed. Batista and his EBX Group have made a fortune investing in natural resources and the hospitality sector in South America.

The joint venture will be named IMGX. Batista puts an “X” in the names of all his companies, signifying the multiplication of wealth.

“I am extremely pleased to be forming a business with someone of Eike Batista’s international entrepreneurial reputation,” said Forstmann. “The success of the diverse businesses that he has created from scratch has been truly amazing.”

Since buying IMG in 2006, Wall Street investor Forstmann has expanded the firm’s event management, licensing, media rights and entertainment businesses around the globe, including creating a joint venture in India with Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, and a joint venture with China’s CCTV. IMG was originally created in 1960 as a talent agency for athletes. Under Forstmann, there has been less emphasis on the tenpercenteries. At the same time, Forstmann has made IMG a leader in college sports marketing and licensing.

“Ted Forstmann is an impressive and knowledgable entrepreneur,” said Batista, “with an outstanding reputation and a unique vision of using sports and entertainment as a way to stimulate education, to create jobs, pride and thus improve the self-esteem of people.”

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