William Morris Endeavor Entertainment LLC did not release financial terms, but said it would buy IMG Worldwide Inc.
The company with help from its private equity Silver Lake, outbid CVC Capital Partners, which offered about $2 billion, sources close to the discussions said.
The purchase combines a mainstay Hollywood talent agency with a firm that focuses on sports stars and fashion models.
Behind the purchase are trends that have shrunk revenue among Hollywood agencies. Big studios are producing fewer movies, which cuts revenue that is based on an entertainer's pay. In addition, the television industry is cutting back on sitcom shows and other lucrative syndication deals, the Journal said.