Mukesh Ambani in race to buy IMG Worldwide

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Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani is among the favourites to buy US-based sports, fashion and entertainment management agency IMG Worldwide which has been put on sale by private equity firm Forstmann Little & Co.

A Reliance official said talks were at an "advanced stage but nothing has been finalised yet". An RIL spokesperson said, "We do not comment on market speculation."

IMG is headquartered in New York and its owners expect it to fetch close to $3 billion. It represents stars such as Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams, Lindsey Vonn and Jackie Stewart.

IMG also manages events such as the IPL, the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

IMG Thursday hired Morgan Stanley and Evercore Partners Inc. to find a buyer, with first-round bids likely in July. "It's an attractive property. There are four to five prospective buyers, including businessmen from Brazil, UK and Qatar. However, Ambani's association with IMG and his relationship with the current owners make him the favourite," a source said.

Ambani partnered with IMG to form IMG-Reliance in 2010 and it currently holds commercial rights for football and basketball in India.

IMG spokesperson Jim Gallagher declined to comment.

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