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Semel Said to Be Wooing IMG

IMG declined to comment on published reports that Web and Hollywood executive Terry Semel is trying to buy the sports and TV-programming giant, saying only that it is focused on continuing to grow its business.

In 2004, private-equity outfit Forstmann Little bought IMG for $750 million. It is estimated that IMG could fetch $2 billion-$3 billion.

Semel is said to be an acquaintance of Forstmann Little chief Ted Forstmann, and he made informal overtures. Reports suggested that he would partner with financial investors.

Semel held CEO posts at Yahoo and Warner Bros. He rose through the Warner studio ranks after starting in domestic theatrical distribution.

IMG produces and distributes 11,000 hours of TV programming per year and represents 12,000 professional athletes, including Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova. The firm also made big gains recently diversifying into the U.S. college market and a cricket venture in India that is a hit on TV.