LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — After months of speculation about a possible sale, Paradigm Talent Agency has agreed to sell its North American live music representation business to Casey Wasserman’s sports and lifestyle company.
After the sale completes Paradigm’s North American music business will form a new operating unit with additional details, including a name and configuration will be announced by the Wasserman organization after the transaction closes, which is expected to happen in the second quarter of 2021, Paradigm said.
As part of the deal, Paradigm plans to sign a shared services agreement with Wasserman to ensure continuity of service to all Music clients for its talent and literary services.
Following the sale, Paradigm will continue to represent its talent and literary clients but is in talks with “strategic partners” regarding its Talent and Literary business.
As part of the Paradigm restructuring process, the private equity investor Tom Gores stepped in to provide financial backing and played a significant role in negotiation with other industry stakeholders. He will also take a stake in the new venture as an equity partner, a statement from Paradigm said.
“This agreement is a win for all parties and a vital step on the restructuring path we embarked upon more than a year ago. It represents an important transition for the incredible music agents of Paradigm and the artists they so brilliantly serve. We are huge fans of Casey Wasserman and the company he’s built, and I am very pleased that he and his team will be at the helm of this important business line. It’s both thrilling and bittersweet to reach this agreement, transition to a new era for Paradigm, and initiate a stabilizing solution during a global pandemic that has created an existential crisis for our industry,” said Paradigm’s Sam Gores.
According to a statement from Paradigm, the decision to divest Paradigm’s North American music assets has been in the works for some time but was accelerated by the impact of the pandemic on the live music sector. The agency has been the focus of rumors of an impending sale for months, including last May when the agency was forced to deny reports of a sale of its music assets to Wasserman.
“By now most of you have seen stories in the media that Casey Wasserman is in talks to purchase Paradigm, and that the deal is nearly done. Let me be clear: these stories are not accurate. There is no agreement to sell Paradigm, nor is any sale imminent,” Sam Gores said at the time in a letter to the agency’s staff obtained by Variety.
Wasserman, founded in 2002, primarily focuses on sports representation with a roster that spans professional sports such as baseball and basketball, but also includes Olympic athletes and other sports ventures, including the prominent hockey agency Acme World Sports, as well as the Lithuanian basketball agency BBaltics.
Paradigm, which was founded in 1992, expanded its music division substantially in 2005 with the acquisition of Dan Weiner and Fred Bohlander’s independent music agency Monterey Peninsula Artists. The deal significantly expanded Paradigm’s music roster with the addition of high-profile clients such as Dave Matthews, Aerosmith, and Emmylou Harris.
Paradigm expanded again the following year with the addition of Little Big Man, the agency owned and operated by Marty Diamond and Larry Webman. The deal expanded Paradigm’s footprint to the East Coast and bolstered their roster with the addition of artists such as Avril Lavigne, Arctic Monkeys, and Franz Ferdinand.
In 2012, Paradigm expanded its roster of electronic music artists through a joint venture with EDM agency AM Only, whose clients included David Guetta, Skrillex Carl Cox, and Tiësto, among others.
Two years later, Paradigm took a 50% stake in the London-based Coda Agency, expanding their business to the UK and European markets and bringing clients such as Beirut, The Civil Wars, Deer Tick, Macy Gray, and Way Out West to the Paradigm roster.
In 2017, they continued their international expansion through a partnership with London-based X-Ray Touring and in North America with The Windish Agency, cementing Paradigm’s position as one of the most powerful music departments in the agency world.