Business News Deals Live Business Top Stories

Talent agency UTA boosts music credentials by acquiring The Agency Group

By | Published on Friday 21 August 2015


Following rumours to this effect earlier this week, the United Talent Agency has acquired The Agency Group, in a deal that makes UTA an immediate major player in the live music space, it being better known to date for representing actors rather than musicians.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the acquisition has been enabled by a new investment into UTA by Jeffrey Ubben of San Francisco-based ValueAct Capital, which has previously invested in a number of tech and media companies. Though Ubben is investing in a personal capacity here, joining the UTA board as a non-voting member.

UTA boss Jeremy Zimmer told the Reporter that: “[This is] not a typical institutional investment that comes with all kinds of restrictions and voting rights. This investment is really about bringing a smart, seasoned investor into the company to help us consider our future growth. It’s a much more comfortable and organic relationship”.

Under the deal, The Agency Group will merge with UTA’s existing music division, which will then be headed up by TAG founder and President Neil Warnock, who basically takes over as the firm’s Head Of Worldwide Music from Rob Prinz, who left UTA back in April. Though TAG’s CEO Gavin O’Reilly won’t joint the combined venture and will leave the company.

Zimmer called the deal “a quantum leap forward for us in the music business”, adding that “there are so many different areas of expertise that go into being a top-shelf music agency, and we were able to find all of those in one place at The Agency Group, along with a tremendous reservoir of real veteran leadership”.

Prior to being acquired itself, TAG had grown significantly over the years, and especially in recent years, by buying up other smaller music-based booking agencies, an acquisition spree that arguably helped make the privately-held firm an attractive purchase for UTA.