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X-ray Touring, Paradigm partner for joint venture

Has Paradigm Talent Agency created "Europe’s most comprehensive agency offering" with its new JV with Britain's X-ray? Yes, says investor Ron Burkle…

By Jon Chapple on 24 Apr 2017

Gorillaz, X-ray Touring, Paradigm Talent Agency

X-ray Touring's roster includes Gorillaz, who hit the road again this year

X-ray Touring has become the latest booking agency to enter into a strategic partnership with Paradigm Talent Agency, creating what investor Yucaipa describes as “Europe’s most comprehensive agency offering”.

Under the terms of a new joint venture, London-based X-ray – whose roster of 400+ artists includes Coldplay, Robbie Williams, Gorillaz, Eminem, Blur, Chance the Rapper, Pixies and Linkin Park – will retain its own identity and continue to operate independently of Paradigm, similar to Coda Agency, the UK outfit which Paradigm has 50% owned since January 2014.

X-ray’s Scott Thomas tells IQ he and the agency’s four other partners, Steve Strange, Ian Huffam, Martin Horne and Jeff Craft, have entered into an “equal partnership” with Paradigm.

“We’ll be continuing as X-ray,” he explains, adding that there will be “scope for crossover with Paradigm’s roster, especially when it comes to offering signings global representation and full-service opportunities.”

In addition to Coda (which signed its own strategic partnership with film/literary agency ITG in January), Paradigm had ties with US agencies AM Only and The Windish Agency before their corporate rebranding earlier this year.

“There’ll be scope for crossover with Paradigm’s roster, especially when it comes to offering global representation”

Also involved in the X-ray deal is US private-equity firm The Yucaipa Companies, which is financing a live entertainment fund, believed to be in the millions of pounds, first announced at the time of the ITG partnership.

Yucaipa founder Ron Burkle says: “We are thrilled to be in business with Paradigm in the UK. The synergies with X-ray, ITG and Coda create Europe’s most comprehensive agency offering, as well as a fund to invest in live entertainment assets in the UK and Europe.”

Paradigm chairman and CEO Sam Gores says the agency has long has coveted a deal with X-ray. “X-ray has a fantastic worldwide roster,” he comments. “We’ve wanted this partnership for quite some time and are thrilled to grow our company while working in partnership with [X-ray directors] Steve Strange, Ian Huffam, Scott Thomas, Martin Horne and Jeff Craft to offer more creative and business opportunities to X-ray’s artists.”

In a joint statement, the five directors add: “We’re delighted to find in Paradigm partners that share our ethos of complete commitment to the artist, providing them with every possible advantage in all aspects of their career. We look forward with great enthusiasm to collaborating with Paradigm and Yucaipa on this next stage of X-ray’s global development.”


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