UTA sells minority stakes to investment firms
In what CEO Jeremy Zimmer calls a “transformative event” for the agency, United Talent Agency (UTA) has sold minority equity stakes in the company to Investcorp and Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments).
The Beverly Hills-based agency acquired UK music powerhouse the Agency Group (TAG) in August 2015, and over the past year has acquired interests in live speaking (Greater Talent Network), electronic music (Circle Talent Agency) and esports (Press X and Everyday Influencers). The new influx of capital will be used to “accelerate” UTA’s growth, according to a statement, “enhance UTA’s services and continue to invest in resources to support its clients and colleagues in a time of change and innovation in content creation and distribution”.
Terms were not disclosed, although UTA says its partners retain majority ownership and control of the company. PSP, one of Canada’s largest pension investment managers, with assets of US$119 billion under management, and Bahrain-based Investcorp, which manages more than $22bn in assets globally, join existing investor Jeffrey Ubben as UTA’s ‘capital partners’.
“We were deliberate about finding the right investment partners who recognise UTA as a business that puts clients first”
Zimmer, who founded UTA in 1991 alongside Jim Berkus and Peter Benedek, says: “This is a transformative event for UTA. There has never been a greater moment of change and opportunity in our industry for artists, creators and companies like ours.
“We were deliberate about finding the right investment partners who recognise UTA as a business that puts clients first, exemplifies a collaborative and diverse culture and is focused long term on capitalising on the unique opportunities that disruption and transformation provide. We found that in Investcorp and PSP Investments.”
“The entertainment industry is experiencing tremendous evolution,” adds Simon Marc (pictured), head of private equity at PSP Investments. “As demand for high-quality content is greater than ever, UTA is uniquely positioned to benefit from the transformation in the sector. We are excited to partner with Jeremy Zimmer and UTA’s world-class management team and look forward to backing UTA in the next phase of its growth.”
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