Sports and media mogul Casey Wasserman has finalized a deal to acquire Paradigm Talent Agency’s North American music assets, including the live-music representation business and the formation of a new operating unit, the agency announced on Wednesday.
The news follows months of speculation about this deal, including TheWrap reporting last June that Wasserman was in talks with Paradigm’s co-owner and investor Tom Gores to acquire the agency.
The deal is expected to close in Q2 2021, and the new company’s name and configuration will be shared by Wasserman then.
With live-music touring halted due to the pandemic, this move to divest Paradigm’s music assets is the latest in a series of steps put in place by CEO Sam Gores to restructure the agency, some of which started prior to the pandemic but accelerated last year.
Paradigm continues to represent talent and literary clients and is in active discussion regarding strategic partners for its Talent and Literary business. Details on that strategy will be revealed at a later date. Paradigm plans to enter into a shared services agreement with Wasserman to ensure continuity of service to all music clients for its talent and literary services.
As part of the Paradigm restructuring, Tom Gores stepped in to provide financial backing and to assist in strategic planning and partnership negotiation with other industry players. He will provide financial backing to the new music venture as an equity partner.
“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,” CEO Sam Gores said in a statement. “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.”
He continued: “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.”
Paradigm and its large music division was hit especially hard by the coronavirus shutdowns, with the agency announcing in September that 180 staffers who had been previously furloughed were then permanently laid off, though no new cuts were made at the time. Last summer, Tom Gores and his investment company Crescent Drive Media also took an ownership stake in Paradigm. The move was a financial step to aid Paradigm in weathering the coronavirus crisis but also to “invest in future growth.”