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UTA secures EQT’s private equity investment to fuel expansion –

A fund managed by private equity firm EQT Partners has made a strategic investment in talent agency UTA, in a deal the agency says will “support its next phase of investing in talent, innovation and international expansion.”

EQT will become UTA’s largest outside shareholder in the acquisition, which will also see the company buy stakes from some of UTA’s existing investors, including Investcorp and PSP Investments. The partnership and management of UTA will continue to be the agency’s majority shareholders.

Specific terms of the deal, including the valuation, were not disclosed. However, everyone in the UTA will likely benefit financially from the investment.

In recent months, UTA has acquired strategic consulting firm MediaLink, British talent and literature agency The Curtis Brown Group and data and analytics firm MediaHound. The new funding will support UTA’s continued growth plans, further accelerating growth through investments in its core businesses as well as the expansion of adjacent capabilities,” the company said in announcing the deal. In other words, it’s not over yet. .

UTA’s new shareholder ends a highly successful year for top talent agencies. Endeavor, the owner of WME, went public in an initial public offering in April 2021 and has since acquired smaller companies to grow. Then, last month, CAA completed the acquisition of ICM Partners, creating a representative giant.

CAA, WME and UTA are now the unequivocal “Big 3” talent agencies, Endeavor now claims a market value of $10 billion (including other divisions like the UFC), and CAA has a pro forma commercial value of US$10 billion. $5 billion. . The combined CAA-ICM has 3,200 employees, while UTA now has around 1,900 employees.

“EQT is an ideal partner for UTA’s next phase of growth,” UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer said in a statement. “They have deep international capabilities, a strong bottom line, and most importantly, they truly value and respect the culture we’ve built at UTA. David Kramer and I led this process and made sure we listened to our instincts about who was helping us drive growth and protect our culture. We believe we have found the right partner to maintain that balance.”

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, EQT currently has €77 billion in assets under management across 36 active funds. UTA’s investment is in the EQT X fund, which has a target of €20 billion.

“EQT invests in industry-leading platforms that are well positioned for strong and sustainable growth through economic cycles, aligned with our values ​​and where we know we can create significant value – UTA ticks all the boxes,” added Kasper Knokgaard, TEQ Partner and Global Manager of the Services Sector Team. “We are thrilled to partner with Jeremy Zimmer and the entire team to accelerate UTA’s growth trajectory and provide more opportunities in entertainment and media.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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