L.A.-based talent representation and marketing firm Wasserman said Monday it has acquired prestigious management and production company Brillstein Entertainment Partners, another sign of consolidation in the representation sector as businesses look to expand their scope. Have to face pressure.
The deal expands Wasserman’s roster, which already includes sports, music and brands, to clients in other areas of entertainment such as film and TV artists. Brillstein represents entertainment industry celebrities including actors Florence Pugh and Brad Pitt, comedians Seth Meyers and Adam Sandler, and influencer Brittany Brosky, known for her viral TikTok reaction video of trying kombucha.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We’ve got a level of expertise and experience in both the talent management area and the content production area in the entertainment space that we didn’t have before,” Casey Wasserman, chairman and chief executive of the firm that bears his name, said in an interview. , “As opportunities for talent become broader and more diverse, this is a significant enhancement to our ability to serve our clients.”
Talks between the two companies began last year, before a writers’ and actors’ strike halted scripted film and television production. The work stoppage has placed immense pressure on workers, studios, talent agencies and managers and led to layoffs across the industry.
Brillstein executives will continue to lead the firm and join Wasserman’s leadership team, and more than 30 of Brillstein’s managers will remain in their roles, the companies said in a joint news release.
“All of us at Brillstein are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with Wasserman and utilize their extensive resources on behalf of our management clients,” John Liebman and Cynthia Pett, co-CEOs of Brillstein, said in a statement. “We share the same vision, which is to serve all of our clients – across talent, literary, comedy, digital and gaming – in an increasingly complex ecosystem.”
Brillstein traces its history back to 1969, when it was founded by Bernie Brillstein, the influential talent manager and producer who helped bring “Saturday Night Live” to TV. The business later became Brillstein-Gray Entertainment, when Brillstein joined forces with fellow manager Brad Gray, who eventually became head of Paramount Pictures.
Brillstein sold his interest in the company in 1996. In 2005, Gray sold his ownership of Brillstein-Gray Entertainment to Pett and Liebman. Two years later, the firm’s name changed to Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Brillstein died in 2008. Gray died in 2017.
Wasserman, who led Los Angeles’ successful bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics, has been growing his company through acquisitions. In 2021, Wasserman purchased the North American live music representation business of Paradigm Talent Agency.
Brillstein is Wasserman’s 10th acquisition in two years. The latest deal brings the company’s employee headcount to about 1,900. Wasserman’s maternal grandfather is Hollywood mogul and kingmaker Lew Wasserman, who ran the powerful entertainment conglomerate MCA.
As the definition of entertainment has become more broad, talent agencies and management firms have expanded the areas in which they serve clients. For Wasserman, this meant the business would grow beyond sports, music and brands.
“The lines between what used to be very separate businesses were blurring very quickly, and so we clearly started thinking about ways we could ensure that resources were available to our customers. “As the best people in the business.” Wasserman said.
Major talent agencies such as Creative Artists Agency, Endeavor-owned WME and United Talent Agency have grown significantly over the past few years, putting pressure on smaller businesses to scale up. Last year, CAA bought Hollywood’s fourth-largest talent agency, ICM Partners, in a $750 million acquisition, increasing its staff by 425 employees. Earlier this month, investment company Artemis agreed to buy a majority stake in CAA. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal was said to value CAA at $7 billion.