We've Got Hollywood Covered

UTA Lands Private Equity Investment From EQT as Part of Next Phase of Growth

EQT will become the largest outside shareholder in the company, while UTA will retain controlling interest

United Talent Agency has landed a private equity investment from the firm EQT that will help the agency fuel its “next phase of growth,” the two companies announced Monday.

Under the transaction, EQT will become the largest outside shareholder in the company, but UTA partnership and leadership will continue to have a controlling interest in the company. Both UTA and EQT are interested in expanding and investing in talent, innovation and international expansion.

As part of the transaction, Investcorp, a global alternative investment firm, which invested in UTA in 2018, will sell its full minority stake to EQT, and EQT will also purchase a portion of existing stakes from continuing shareholders including PSP Investments.

All employees at UTA regardless of level or tenure are expected to benefit financially from the new investment, an individual with knowledge of the deal tells TheWrap.

The transaction is expected to close later this month.

UTA’s push for expansion comes on the heels first of the agency’s own acquisition of the UK literary and talent agency Curtis Brown Group back in June, as well as rival CAA’s acquisition of ICM Partners. UTA has doubled its number of employees to approximately 1,900 over the last four years.

“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,” UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer said in a statement.

“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,” Kasper Knokgaard, EQT partner and global head of the Services Sector Team, 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,” Dave Tayeh, head of Private Equity – North America at Investcorp, 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,” Martin Longchamps, managing director, head of Origination and Execution at PSP Investments, said.

EQT is a global investment organization with EUR 77 billion in assets under management across 36 active funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas with total sales of approximately EUR 29 billion and more than 280,000 employees.

UTA was advised by Moelis & Company (exclusive financial advisor) and Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (legal). EQT Private Equity was advised by Weil, Gotshal & Manges (legal) and Bain & Company (commercial).