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The deal sees the private equity firm expand its touring portfolio to provide capital for Wasserman to pursue growth initiatives
By James Hanley on 07 Nov 2022
Private equity firm Providence has expanded its music portfolio with a strategic investment in agency giant Wasserman.
Providence’s investment will be used to provide capital to pursue growth initiatives and “fully redeem” RedBird and Madrone Capital Partners, who both exit as investors, while Wasserman chairman and CEO Casey Wasserman will retain a controlling ownership stake. Financial terms were not disclosed.
US sports representation firm Wasserman launched booking agency Wasserman Music in 2021 following the completion of the company’s acquisition of Paradigm’s North American live music business and went on to acquire Paradigm UK’s live music business earlier this year.
Providence, meanwhile, already backs UK-based live entertainment group Superstruct Entertainment, Ambassador Theatre Group and Tait (Towers), and also bought into Sweetwater, the leading US retailer of musical instruments and audio equipment, in 2021.
“There is no better partner to help us accelerate and scale this purpose-driven model than Providence”
“I am incredibly proud of the business, and more importantly the team we have built over the past 20 years,” says Casey Wasserman.
“Our prioritisation of client service and values has resulted in tangible business success and cultural rewards, and there is no better partner to help us accelerate and scale this purpose-driven model than Providence. Their long relationship with our executive management group plus their extensive experience and established investment approach across the sports, media and entertainment sectors, and a shared commitment to culture will help accelerate the next phase of Wasserman’s expansion.”
“Casey and his team have built a global leader and influential force in sports and music talent representation and marketing”
Founded in 2002, Wasserman operates across six continents, 23 countries and more than 40 cities worldwide. Its other recent moves include a significant investment in post-career services for clients through the acquisition of The Montag Group; a strategic focus on marketing to Gen Z consumers through the acquisition of Riddle & Bloom; and a continued expansion into global sports with the launch of Wasserman Rugby.
“Casey and his team have built a global leader and influential force in sports and music talent representation and marketing, and they have balanced their rapid expansion with maintaining a client-first approach and culture that cultivates dedicated, motivated and talented executives and agents,” adds Providence MD Scott Marimow. “Wasserman is a natural fit with our firm, and we look forward to partnering with Casey and the entire Wasserman team to help fuel the company’s next phase of growth and success.”
In July, “purpose-driven global investment organisation” EQT became the latest private equity firm to enter the international touring business by becoming a strategic investor in UTA. Other such companies with live music interests include Silverlake, Yucaipa and Waterland.
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