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Friday, Sep 29, 2023

UTA Buys Advisory Firm MediaLink for $125 Million

Just weeks after launching a $230 million special purpose and acquisition company, or SPAC, for video game-related investments, Beverly Hills-based United Talent Agency has acquired a business with expertise in media, entertainment and technology.

UTA announced Dec. 16 that it has purchased New York-based advisory firm MediaLink Worldwide Inc. from London-based media company Ascential for $125 million. MediaLink founder and Chief Executive Micheal Kassan will remain in his position at the company and become a partner at UTA. The company’s approximately 150 employees will also join the agency as a part of the deal. UTA said that it anticipates no job losses will occur because of the acquisition.

“I am truly grateful for the opportunity to welcome Michael and his team to UTA,” Jeremy Zimmer, chief executive of UTA, said in a statement. “I know UTA will benefit from their insights, relationships and expertise. And, this acquisition is a clear signal that UTA sees its work at the intersection of entertainment, brands and marketing as a core pillar of the future growth opportunities we are able to provide for our clients.”

UTA will rename its marketing division UTA Entertainment & Culture Marketing and will fold its own operations into MediaLink’s. UTA Marketing co-heads Julian Jacobs and David Anderson will become part of the team led by Kassan.

UTA’s recent moves close out a year of talent agency mergers and acquisitions. After Beverly Hills-based Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. went public in April 2021, its talent agency WME took ownership of Las Vegas-based mixed martial arts company Ultimate Fighting Championship for $4 billion, and in September purchased London-based sports gambling firm OpenBet for another $1.2 billion.

Also in September, Creative Artists Agency acquired its competitor ICM Partners for undisclosed terms in a move that consolidated two firms at the top of the talent representation food chain.

Todd Gilchrist
Todd Gilchrist
Todd Gilchrist is a Los Angeles-based reporter and film critic with 20+ years of experience at dozens of print and online outlets, including Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly and Fangoria. An obsessive soundtrack collector, sneaker aficionado and member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Todd currently lives in Silverlake, California with his amazing wife Julie, two cats Beatrix and Biscuit, and several thousand books, vinyl records and Blu-rays.

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