A comedian who’s a familiar face in prime time is teaming up with the agency ICM Partners to buy a comedy festival. Variety reports that Howie Mandel and ICM are leading an investor group that acquired the Montreal-based Just For Laughs Group.
“The acquisition covers the annual comedy festival held in July in Montreal and its offshoot events in Toronto, Vancouver and Sydney,” Variety reports. “The deal is said to be valued in the mid eight-figure range.”
Mandel, who is Canadian, has been a fixture on television for years, including hosting NBC’s “Deal or No Deal,” appearing on “St. Elsewhere” and working as a judge on “America’s Got Talent.”
“Just For Laughs Group went on the market last fall after festival founder Gilbert Rozon was accused of sexual misconduct by more than a dozen women dating back to the earliest days of the festival in 1983,” Variety reports. “Rozon has denied the allegations, but he put his majority interest in Just For Laughs Group on the market.”
The report quotes Mandel saying: “I have performed at JFL many times over the last 10 years, and I have nothing but love for this event. I consider it to be a cultural treasure not only for the Montreal and Quebec communities, but also for Canada, and I am very excited to be part of this group of investors that will ensure the festival’s long-term success, while growing their global comedy brand.”