While DreamWorks, Lionsgate and even Cash-Machine Manoj all have Indian capital to thank for their varying degrees of independence, Terry Semel is apparently courting a few billion dollars from Dubai as he nears a deal to acquire the management giant (and burgeoning media player) IMG. The ex-Warner Bros./Yahoo! kingpin has had his eye on Teddy Forstmann's hobby since at least June, when it was rumored Semel was knocking on a few gilded doors around the Middle East, hat in hand.
Now, however, with Chris Albrecht well into his tenure as IMG boss — and with a $250 million mandate to develop content with talent including Tiger Woods and Gisele Bundchen— the pressure is on for Forstmann to do something a little more constructive than star-fuck his way around the roster.
Conveniently, Semel seems to need a project, and IMG is as good as any. Forstmann reportedly wants $3 billion, though — an "aggressive price" by most accounts; he picked IMG up for $750 million in 2004 and may fetch a little more than twice that if Semel can sort out a deal with Dubai International Capital, a government-owned holding company that also, last November, bought 3 percent of Sony for $1.5 billion. We're all for the deal, frankly — anything that gets Semel back on the scene (though his support for Israel might be a problem in a country to which Israelis can't even travel), particularly if it results in IMG client Elizabeth Hasselbeck trenchantly interviewing Gisele atop a man-made ski slope in some desert shopping megalith. Good luck, Terry!
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