Private equity firm EQT has become a strategic investor in UTA.
“The move recognises UTA’s artist-first approach and recent growth trajectory and will help fuel the next phase of investments in talent, innovation and international expansion,” said a statement.
Under the transaction with the EQT X fund, the UTA partnership and leadership continue to hold the controlling interest in the company, with EQT becoming the largest outside shareholder.
As part of the transaction, Investcorp, a global alternative investment firm, will sell its full minority stake to EQT. EQT will also purchase a portion of existing stakes from continuing shareholders including PSP Investments.
Co-founded in 1991 by CEO Jeremy Zimmer (pictured), UTA represents talent across music, TV, film, sports, digital media, publishing, podcasts, and more. It also provides advisory and marketing services to leading global brands.
UTA’s strategic expansion over the past few years includes the acquisition of European publishing and talent agency The Curtis Brown Group, and the purchase of MediaLink, the strategic advisory firm for entertainment and media companies.
Over four years, the number of employees at the company has almost doubled to nearly 1,900 employees.
“With this new partnership, EQT’s financial resources, expertise in capital markets, in-house digital team and global footprint will support UTA’s continued growth plans, further accelerating growth through investments in its core businesses as well as expansion into adjacent opportunities,” added the statement.
Jeremy Zimmer, CEO of UTA, said: “EQT is the perfect partner for UTA’s next phase of growth. They have deep international capabilities, a strong balance sheet, and most importantly they truly appreciate and respect the culture that we have built at UTA. David Kramer and I led this process, and we made sure to listen to our instincts about who we felt would really help us drive growth while protecting our culture. We believe that we found the right partner to maintain that balance.”
Kasper Knokgaard, EQT partner and global head of the services sector team, said: “EQT invests in industry-leading platforms that are well situated for strong and sustained growth across economic cycles, are aligned with our values, and where we know we can create significant value - UTA checks all the boxes. We are excited to partner with Jeremy Zimmer and the entire team to accelerate UTA’s growth trajectory and enable more opportunities across entertainment and media.”
Dave Tayeh, head of private equity – North America at Investcorp, said: “Our investment in UTA was highly successful and we are proud to have partnered with the UTA team as they achieved exceptional growth over the past four years. The company has strengthened its position as a market leader and we wish the team and EQT continued success.”
Martin Longchamps, MD, head of origination and execution at PSP Investments, said: "Since our original investment in 2018, PSP Investments and Investcorp have been working closely with Jeremy Zimmer and his management team to continue to strengthen UTA’s exceptional market position. During this time, UTA has proven its abilities to perform, innovate and diversify as a leading entertainment company. We are excited to continue this journey with UTA and to welcome EQT. Together, we will be a driving force in supporting UTA’s long-term growth.”
Subscribers can read our interview with UTA’s UK music leadership team here.