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Swedish investor pays $321M for eight IMG properties in Bradenton

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:15 p.m. July 27, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
IMG Academy was founded in 1978 as the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy.
IMG Academy was founded in 1978 as the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy.
Courtesy photo
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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EQT, the Swedish private equity company buying Bradenton-based IMG Academy, has completed the purchase of more than $300 million worth of property on the Manatee County campus of the famed sports school.

According to county records, EQT finalized eight separate sales on June 29 totalling of $321.59 million.

Among the deals was a $224 million purchase of multiple parcels including vacant land and recreational land; $44.5 million for the academy’s hotel; and $7.5 million for its golf course and country club.

All the purchases were made by a Delaware LLC named Acorn AcquireCo. A spokesperson for the academy described Acorn as “simply a legal entity name related to the EQT acquisition.”

EQT announced in April that it and its portfolio company Nord Anglia Education were buying IMG for $1.25 billion.

IMG, one of the largest employers in Manatee County, was founded in 1978 as the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. IMG acquired the academy in 1987 and subsequently added golf as its second sport followed by programs for soccer and baseball and ultimately basketball, football, lacrosse, track & field and volleyball.

In 2014, Beverly Hills-based Endeavor Group Holdings, one of the largest sports and entertainment brands in the world, bought the academy and expanded both its on-campus and online offerings.

Today the campus includes a sports-focused boarding school with 1,400 students, sports camps, online coaching and online college recruiting that serves more than 100,000 student-athletes. It has hosted multiple pro sports teams for practice sessions and placed more than 30,000 students onto college sports rosters in 2022 alone.

Among the athletes who have trained at IMG are tennis stars Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Andre Agassi.



Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the deputy managing editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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