While we hear talks for the LA28 Olympics chair to take over the once lucrative music assets of the Sam Gores-run company are still pretty fluid, there is no doubt that conversations are being had that would be a big move for the grandson of Hollywood’s one-time kingpin Lew Wasserman.
Reps for sports and entertainment agency boss Wasserman had no comment on any possible deal for part of Paradigm. Reps for the struggling agency did not reply to request for comment on the matter. (UPDATE, 11:05 PM: However much later in the evening, Gores sent out a note to Paradigm staffers telling them that while the company was looking at several “unique opportunities” right now – “There is no agreement to sell Paradigm, nor is any sale imminent.” Read the full memo below)
However, it seems that this potential carving up of Paradigm was initiated by Platinum Equity founder Tom Gores, the billionaire brother of Sam Gores. The Detroit Pistons owner approached the Wasserman Media Group CEO a few weeks back to gauge his interest in acquiring the music assets of the agency. With coronavirus having rendered the live events and touring business DOA right now, there would seem to be no rush for Wasserman to put pen to paper yet, but if this does happen it will happen in the next 30 days, I hear.
It is of course worth noting that before Paradigm was ravaged by the economic fallout from COVID-19 and hit with a salacious lawsuit back in April from ex-mega agent Debbee Klein, the music assets and the deep relationships agents in the company had with the industry’s touring business was the jewel in the crown for Gores. In the past, both UTA and CAA have attempted to strike a deal with the Paradigm chair with figures of over $200 million being tossed around.
While none of those deals ever came to fruition, Casey Wasserman may be the one to make it so soon rather than later. I mean, his agency represents U.S. soccer superstars Megan Rapinoe and Abby Wambach and they know how to close the deal. What would be left of Paradigm, if anything, that’s another matter.
Here is the note that Sam Gores sent out later on Wednesday:
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.
The agents at Paradigm and the talent they represent have built this agency into an industry leader. Despite the difficult environment that nearly every company in the entertainment industry has faced and is facing due to the coronavirus, we have made good progress in stabilizing and strengthening our agency. This progress is in no small part due to the hard work and dedication of our team. I want you to know how much I appreciate your efforts.
We are always looking for ways to further build and grow our company. This is nothing new. What is new, in my view, is that this environment has created unique opportunities, and we are – as you might expect—looking at a number of them.
Don’t let rumors or speculative reporting upset or distract you. We are the best at what we do because we remain focused on our clients. And this is how we will continue to thrive and succeed.
If there is something to report, be assured you will hear it from us. In the meantime, stay safe, healthy, and focused.