Flee circus

ICM the latest agency to exit BevHills

ICM will soon be squaring off with CAA for the title of Century City king.

Agency is negotiating a move from its Beverly Hills headquarters to the MGM building in Century City.

Once deal points are closed, ICM is expected to vacate its current headquarters at 8942 Wilshire Blvd. and head West before its current lease expires in January 2008.

Development makes ICM the second major percentery to leave Beverly Hills for Century City. CAA is scheduled to make its move at year’s end into newly erected headquarters at 2000 Ave. of the Stars, built on the former complex that housed ABC Entertainment and the Shubert Theater.

CAA will be the signature tenant in the new digs owned by JPMorgan. The agency vacates the I.M. Pei-designed space that’s a symbol of the Michael Ovitz-Ron Meyer-Bill Haber days.

ICM has been in its current headquarters since 1992, and its move was borne of necessity. The agency is relocating its finance and accounting departments from New York, and there is not enough room in the current space.

In the talks going on with building owners JMB Realty, ICM wants to increase its current 75,000-square-foot floor plan to between 100,000 and 125,000 square feet.

The downsized MGM still occupies some space in the headquarters, but while Harry Sloan and Rick Sands have expansive and opulent offices, there is plenty of space available.

The urge to grow also follows ICM’s recapitalization last November, when major equity investments from Connecticut-based investor Suhail Rizvi and Merrill Lynch’s Asset Based Finance Group gave chairman-CEO Jeff Berg $100 million in committed capital. Several longtime board members were cashed out, and the percentery has been on the prowl for acquisitions ever since.

Beverly Hills remains the address for WMA, UTA, Endeavor, Gersh and Paradigm. Endeavor has the newest digs. WMA, while still eyeing a possible move elsewhere in the Beverly Hills area, recently completed a makeover meant to update its El Camino HQ. Ceilings were raised and new floors, paint and office furniture put in, with much of the work taking place while agents and their assistants did business.

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