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ICM Partners acquires music agency Primary Talent International

ICM Partners
Exterior photo of the ICM Partners building in Century City.
(ICM Partners)

Century City-based ICM Partners said Tuesday that it had acquired live-music booking agency Primary Talent International of London.

The deal will give talent agency ICM Partners access to more than 900 music artists, including rock band the Cure, pop group the Pussycat Dolls and singer Lana del Rey, and expand the talent agency’s footprint in international music touring. ICM Partners’ existing touring business includes artists like R&B group Boyz II Men and rap rock band Limp Bizkit.

“This deal greatly enhances our ability to serve clients on a global scale, through added resources, support and even greater opportunities, which is our top priority,” said Chris Silbermann, ICM Partners’ CEO in a statement.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The L.A. Times first reported a potential acquisition in January.

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Matt Bates, a Primary director, said his agency puts clients’ needs first and it was in that spirit Primary joined with ICM Partners.

“We will continue to see Primary prosper and grow, with now additional opportunity to offer our clients the scope and resources of a major agency if they choose to take advantage of it,” Bates said in a statement.

Primary will continue to operate under its name in London and there are no expected management changes, the agency and ICM said. Primary’s board will run the agency, working with ICM Partners’ music division and co-head of music Rob Prinz, both agencies said.

ICM has more than 600 employees, while Primary has a staff of 50 people.

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The acquisition comes after ICM announced in December that it has taken private equity investment from Crestview Partners. The talent agency gave Crestview a one-third minority ownership stake in exchange for roughly $150 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.

More talent agencies are taking on private equity investment in order to scale their businesses, at a time when streaming services are changing the way deals are constructed and where talent is located.

A long-running dispute between large talent agencies and the Writers Guild of America has also put pressure on the agency business, causing some agencies, including ICM Partners, to think about how many writers they might represent in the future. Last year, ICM said it let go of a handful of agents mostly due to attrition. Paradigm Talent Agency, based in Beverly Hills, laid off around 30 people in January.


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