Ascential, owner of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, has sold its MediaLink strategic and advisory arm to United Talent Agency (UTA) for $125 million in cash.
As part of the deal, MediaLink Founder and CEO Michael Kassan joins UTA as a partner and will continue as CEO of MediaLink. UTA's entertainment and marketing consultancy division, UTA Marketing, will become a division of MediaLink called UTA Entertainment & Culture Marketing, and its co-heads David Anderson and Julian Jacobs will also join the executive leadership team of MediaLink.
MediaLink, which was founded in 2003, will continue to maintain its offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and London. According to UTA, no job losses are anticipated as a result of the acquisition, and it expects the company to continue to hire and grow.
"The combination of UTA and MediaLink creates an unparalleled offering operating where strategy, culture, entertainment, marketing and technology intersect," Kassan said in a statement. "We will optimize our complementary strengths to the benefit of our clients and exponentially expand the opportunities available to them. What's more, MediaLink will be deeply immersed in a creator culture represented by UTA—one that pivots on entrepreneurship and an unwavering passion for artists, entertainment and media. Our two companies operate at the same intersection and share the same vision. It's a perfect fit."
"We have watched Michael Kassan steadfastly build his company over the years,” said UTA Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Zimmer. “What seemed at first to be an amazing one-man band has become a first-class, global consulting firm with powerful colleagues, deep expertise and unparalleled relationships."